Brazil’s lower house Speaker Rodrigo Maia said on Monday he will try to pass a fiscally crucial pension reform bill this year in the chamber, but he told reporters he would only put the measure to the vote if it has enough support.
The bill needs a three-fifths super majority of 308 votes to pass and poll by Arko Advice consultancy found the government is 46 votes short and time is running out. A government plan to hold a vote next week will likely get put off until Dec 13, with days to spare before the Congressional recess begins on Dec 22.
“We’re working on that. Let’s start counting the votes,” he said during an event hosted by a weekly magazine. “If we do not work for the approval of the reform, we will be delivering a very uncertain future.”
He added that “I’m going to start consulting the parties for the leaders to consult their counterparts and try to vote the matter” but acknowledged that the voting deadline is way too tight.
Maia also said that he intends to move ahead with a draft bill that he believes has conditions to be approved, despite the Ministry of Finance’s resistance to new changes.
In related news Finance minister Henrique Meirelles announced at an event in Sao Paulo that Brazil’s government is on track to turn a surplus before debt payments in three years, based on current growth forecasts and a constitutionally imposed spending cap