The lower house of Brazil's Congress approved last week salary raises for military and civil servants that will cost about 4 billion reais (US$1.12 billion) this year, the lower house said through its official news agency.
Most of the pay hikes still need to be approved by the Senate. The increases were accounted for in this year's budget, according to the Planning Ministry, so they should find support in the coalition of interim President Michel Temer despite his pledge to reduce the budget deficit and end a bloated state.
The lower house also approved in a first round of voting a constitutional amendment that would free up 30% of tax revenue that is earmarked for specific spending provisions such as some social security welfare and pension programs.
If the constitutional amendment is approved in a second round of voting by the lower house and also by the Senate, it would free up about 120 billion reais (US$33.47 billion) this year for discretionary expenditures.
A constitutional amendment requires the approval of 60% of the legislature.