Rio de Janeiro, Nov 9 (EFE) .- The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies approved this Tuesday, in the second and final vote, an amendment to the Constitution that allows the Government of President Jair Bolsonaro to increase public spending to finance a program of subsidies to the poorest in 2022, when he will seek reelection.
The amendment, which will now have to be debated by the Senate also in two votes, authorizes the Government to delay the payment of compensation ordered by the Justice and to use the resources that remain available to finance the Auxilio Brasil program, which provides for the distribution of subsidies to nearly 17 million low-income families.
The approved measure also enables the Executive to exceed next year the ceiling of public expenditures set by law and that limits the increase in the disbursement of public resources to the inflation rate of the previous year.
The advance of the amendment in Congress had been generating instability in the financial market, with a fall in the Sao Paulo stock market and a rise in the dollar, due to investors’ fear that the Government would increase public spending, abandon its policy of fiscal austerity and further aggravate the already high deficit in public accounts.
The government’s decision to ease the fiscal adjustment also led to the resignation of four top secretaries from the Ministry of the Economy.
The approval of the amendment is considered essential for the Bolsonaro government, as the far-right leader will try to win a new term in the presidential elections in October 2022, despite his high levels of unpopularity.
With the postponement of the payment of compensation imposed by the Justice for the next few years, the Government will have at its disposal about 90,000 million reais (about 16,364 million dollars) from the 2022 budget to finance the Auxilio Brasil program, which provides for the distribution of a monthly aid of 400 reais (about $ 72.7) to the poorest families.
The basic text of the amendment was approved on Tuesday night by the plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies after a long debate by 323 votes in favor and 172 against.
The ruling parties obtained 15 votes more than the minimum necessary (308 votes or three-fifths of the 513 deputies) required for the approval of amendments to the Constitution in the Lower House.