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Brazilian congress passes US$ 8 billion bill to help millions of poor families

Friday, March 12th 2021 - 09:06 UTC
Full article 3 comments
The measure allows emergency stipends to be paid to low-income Brazilians over the next four months: recipients expected to get 250 Reais (US$ 50) per month. The measure allows emergency stipends to be paid to low-income Brazilians over the next four months: recipients expected to get 250 Reais (US$ 50) per month.

Brazil's lower house of Congress approved the basic text of a bill on Thursday that revives a federal cash transfer program to help millions of poor families whose incomes have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measure will allow emergency stipends totaling up to 44 billion reais (US$ $7.96 billion) to be paid to low-income Brazilians over the next four months, with recipients expected to get an average of 250 reais per month.

The chamber cast 366-127 votes for the constitutional amendment in a second of two rounds of voting, more than in the first-round when it was approved by 341 votes.

Brazil's Senate passed the amendment last week.

The aid package will not be subject to the government's usual fiscal rules, but the bill includes counter measures delivering fiscal savings in the coming years to mitigate the impact on fragile public finances.

Economy Ministry and central bank officials, as well as investors, have warned that any increase in spending must be matched by savings elsewhere in the budget to show the government's long-term commitment to reducing its record debt.

The government's emergency aid to millions of poor families last year totaled some 322 billion reais, worth around 4.5% of GDP, and expired on Dec. 31. It ensured the economy's 4.1% slump last year was nowhere near as bad as many had originally feared, but it also fueled a record budget deficit and public debt.

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  • FortHay

    So, a previous investigation by Bloomberg's Vinicius Andrade ( https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-29/brazilians-used-covid-aid-to-buy-more-beer-fueling-ambev-sales ) found a correlation between COVID relief hand-outs and beer sales. Cheers! I suspect similar habits in the US and elsewhere. When throwing around money indiscriminately, it never fails that most of it rolls into the gutter.

    Mar 12th, 2021 - 05:02 pm 0
  • Chicureo

    FortHay

    Yes, we’ve seen RECORD alcohol sales in Chile as people have been highly restricted from normal activities.

    I’m not a COVID denier or subscribe to wild theories — but the collateral damage to our society will be felt for the next several years. People are tired of starting their second year of what was supposedly to be a 15 day isolation.

    Too many people have skipped routine medical health checks and many children have lost their most formative educational period. I have three adult women I’m our family and it has been important for them to especially receive checkups as cancer was a serious issue with our parents.

    As a precaution, my wife and I had pneumococcal and influenza vaccines last year and we’re scheduled to receive the Sinovac vaccine by the end of the month.

    Although we know people who have had the virus — none of them were hospitalized and have recovered.

    There were also news reports that our hospitals were full — which was fake news!
    (Chile has had plenty of empty hospital beds in both normal as well as intensive care.)

    Cheers!

    Mar 12th, 2021 - 07:43 pm 0
  • FortHay

    Chicoreo,

    Likewise I am also not not a COVID denier or subscribe to wild theories, but consider this:

    https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/22272237/flu-cases-down-historic-what-does-it-mean

    There is an obvious explanation for this data, but I have yet heard anyone address it, or make any meaningful investigation to explore it.

    Mar 15th, 2021 - 04:59 pm 0
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