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Rousseff's unaccomplished promise of no recession or retrocession

Thursday, January 7th 2016 - 08:08 UTC
Full article 7 comments
Of the 34 main goals for 2015 specified by President Rousseff in her message, only 11 (32.3%) were achieved, while 17 (50%) had unsatisfactory results. Of the 34 main goals for 2015 specified by President Rousseff in her message, only 11 (32.3%) were achieved, while 17 (50%) had unsatisfactory results.
President Rousseff is “reaping what she sowed”, between 2008 and 2014, public debt increased US$ 128bn, much of it in subsidies to loans granted by public banks. President Rousseff is “reaping what she sowed”, between 2008 and 2014, public debt increased US$ 128bn, much of it in subsidies to loans granted by public banks.

On 2 February 2015, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff sent the Executive message to Congress with her government's plan and promising she would not promote “recession or retrocession.” However eleven months later, Brazil is undergoing full recession and faces retrocession in several areas, having been downgraded by two credit risk agencies.

 A report from Folha de Sao Paulo points out that those were not the only promises that President Rousseff did not keep. Very few of the objectives in her message were actually carried out. Of the 34 main goals for 2015 specified by President Rousseff in her message, only 11 (32.3%) were achieved, while 17 (50%) had unsatisfactory results.

Six others (17.7%) did get off the ground partially as their deadlines for implementation were set for periods after 2015.

“In 2014, the country came to a stop as it waited for the election; in 2015, the country plunged,” says Guilherme Mello, a professor at the Institute of Economy of Unicamp.

“Credit, inflation, growth and employment - all of those points showed much worse declines than anyone could expect.”

In 2015, virtually the only economic goals met by the president were tax increases.

Mello says that the change in the economic policy was necessary because the strategy of subsidies to industries and the attempts to reduce interest rates of the first Rousseff administration did not work and failed.

However, Mello sees a light at the end of the tunnel - he believes a major part of the adjustment has already been carried out and Brazil will begin 2016 in better conditions.

But Mansueto Almeida, a specialist in public finance, believes that the worst stage of the adjustment is yet to come.

“We are very far from finishing the adjustment: the expense cut was done at the cost of an enormous reduction in public investment –40% until October – and changes in the payment schedule of salary bonuses, which is temporary cost savings,” says Almeida.

Almeida also argues that the mandatory expenses will continue to grow a lot - the National Social Security Institute costs in 2015 and 2016 will increase 0.9% of the GDP and the social security deficit will reach 2% of GDP.

Mansueto says President Rousseff is “reaping what she sowed.” He says that, from 2008 to 2014, the public debt increased by R$ 500 billion (US$ 128 billion)- much of the debt represented by subsidies to loans granted by public banks.

“The process to set the country back on track will take a long time. In 2016 it will be necessary to approve structural adjustments to make it possible for the mandatory expenses to grow less than inflation - but I believe President Rousseff doesn't have the necessary political support to do it.”

With the need to cut expenses and the lack of political support in Congress, all areas of the government suffered in 2015. Not even the Ministry of Education, the star of the Educator Homeland plan, was saved. Some important goals were achieved, such as building new daycares. But most of the other objectives fell far short.

“Considering how far back we are, the results are disappointing,” says Naercio Menezes, the coordinator of the center for public policies of Insper.

Menezes says that it is necessary to make Brazilian cities and states improve the quality of the education they offer by increasing the number of hours children stay in school, reformulating programs of colleges, providing incentives to the best teachers and students and extra classes for students with difficulties.

Likewise Folha columnist Celso Rocha de Barros, a Sociology PhD from the University of Oxford, warns that the problem is not this year, but the total outcome of the previous years: “2015 was the year to fix everything that went wrong and nothing was done”.

Categories: Economy, Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • Tik Tok

    She couldn't organize a piss up in a brewery - socialist idiot

    Jan 07th, 2016 - 01:28 pm 0
  • yankeeboy

    I said long ago Brazil was doomed, they think this is the end of their recession and its only the begining.
    Until they get rid of the Free $ for Layabouts they'll continue to the abyss.

    They should get rid of that horrible women now...

    Jan 07th, 2016 - 01:31 pm 0
  • ChrisR

    Oh NO, we have no bananas now!

    The old song has more sense to it than DumbAss Dilma and was there anybody outside the PTT who even listened to her last February?

    It's like watching a slow train crash: you know it's going to happen but you can do nothing about it other than order the coffins now for everybody on the passenger list.

    Jan 07th, 2016 - 07:55 pm 0
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