Brazil is one of the countries that spend the most on public servants


Brazil has one of the highest expenses with compensation of servers in the world, according to data gathered by the National Treasury in an interactive panel that will be launched by the agency. Out of a list of 74 countries, Brazil has the 7th. highest spending: 12.9% of GDP. The data are for 2019 and include expenses with active personnel from the Union, States and municipalities.

Penduricalhos to circumvent the salary cap of R $ 39.2 thousand per month, higher salaries than in the private sector and loopholes for the accumulation of remunerations are factors pointed out by experts to explain Brazil’s permanence at the top of the ranking. A history of increases above inflation in wages also contributes to the picture.

The most recent gain incorporated into the set of rules for civil servants was an ordinance from the Ministry of Economy, stating that retired military personnel and retired civil servants who continue to work in certain positions may receive both remunerations, even if they exceed the R $ 39.2 ceiling. thousand. The measure benefited President Jair Bolsonaro with an “increase” of R $ 2.3 thousand per month and Vice President Hamilton Mourão, with R $ 24 thousand monthly. Ministers will also benefit.

The measure aroused criticism, especially at the moment when the team of the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, tries to advance in Congress his proposal for administrative reform, in order to relax the stability of the position, to extinguish penduricalhos that today boost salaries and leave the land ready for a future review of careers and salaries. The Proposed Amendment to the Constitution (PEC) is awaiting a vote in the Constitution and Justice Committee (CCJ) of the Chamber to proceed to the next step, which is the analysis of merit in the special commission.

“I keep wondering where they were with their heads. It doesn’t make any sense, even for the moment in the country”, criticizes deputy Tiago Mitraud (Novo-MG). He chairs the Mixed Parliamentary Front for Administrative Reform and has submitted an information request to demand explanations from the government. “In addition to being immoral, it is a very big inconsistency.” In addition to submitting the proposal for administrative reform, the government also reduced the amount of aid to vulnerable people during the pandemic in 2021, under the justification of spending control.


The X-ray traced by the Treasury data shows that the proportion of spending on civil servants in Brazil exceeds that observed in other emerging nations, such as Russia, Chile, Peru and Colombia, and also in advanced countries, such as the United States, Germany and Spain. . The data considers the expenses not only with salaries, but also with the employer’s contribution to the Social Security of these civil servants.

Economist José Luiz Rossi, professor at the Brasiliense Institute of Public Law (IDP), points out that spending on civil servants in Brazil is heterogeneous, both from the point of view of the administrative sphere and from the point of view of the Powers. In the first case, the Union tends to pay higher salaries than States and municipalities. He cites a World Bank study that points to a high wage premium for federal employees, 96% compared to what a worker with the same qualifications earns in the private sector. This premium was 36% in the States and practically zero in the municipalities.

From the point of view of the Powers, the Judiciary and the Public Ministry tend to disagree more with the other Powers in terms of maneuvers to circumvent the remuneration ceiling. At the end of 2019, for example, Estadão / Broadcast showed that the meal vouchers for judges exceeded the minimum wage in 24 of the 27 Brazilian states.

“It is a large state, which has a high demand,” says Rossi, in a justification for part of the expenditure on a significant number of employees. In Brazil, according to data from Pnad Contínua, 11.9 million declared themselves employees of the public sector in the quarter until February 2021. On the other hand, he recognizes that there are distortions. “The issue is the policy of incentives. There are not many steps in the career, the employee spends most of his career earning the maximum salary,” he says.

Economist Bráulio Cerqueira, president of Unacon Sindical, an entity that represents finance auditors and is linked to the National Forum of Typical State Careers (Fonacate), criticizes the data that put Brazil at the top of the ranking of expenses with civil service employees. According to him, the accounting of social security expenses for civil servants varies between countries.

“At the three federal levels, it is important to clarify this, the salaries of civil servants are frozen until the end of this year, in fact they are being reduced in real terms. In the federal government, the last salary recomposition for 80% of the civil servants occurred in January of 2017 “, says Cerqueira. “There is no lack of control with the payroll today, what there is is the opposite, wage squeeze and successive decreases in spending on wages.”

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