the secretary of the National treasure, Jeferson Bittencourt, said on Thursday, 29, that the space in the spending ceiling in 2022 should be between BRL 25 billion and BRL 30 billion, which would entail a reformulation in the program Bolsa Família capable of contemplating 17 million families and an average value of R$300 — as promised by President Jair Bolsonaro.
“This space we are seeing would be compatible with a program of this magnitude,” stated Bittencourt. According to the secretary, the new program is being discussed “respecting all fiscal rules” in the country. “This is our goal, we believe it is the best way,” he said.
The secretary of the Treasury explained that the government recently revised its planned expenditure on personnel and social security, which will also have an impact on the 2022 Budget. “We are going to build the 2022 Budget with a lower base of mandatory expenses,” he said. Therefore, according to the secretary, the space on the ceiling was above the R$ 20 billion to R$ 25 billion that had been projected by the economic team.
Bittencourt avoided commenting on what would be the Bolsa Família PEC cited by President Jair Bolsonaro in an interview the day before yesterday to a radio station. “We must, it is not yet defined, send a PEC to settle the issue of Bolsa Família. If I do not have support from the center parties, Bolsa Família cannot be readjusted now for November, December,” said the president at the time.
The Treasury secretary replied that “putting a specific program in the Constitution is not very traditional” and takes away the flexibility of fiscal policy management. “This is true for Bolsa Família, tax immunities, assistance programs. This is a problem for the Executive and for the Legislative itself, which needs a qualified quorum to make any changes,” he said.
For Bittencourt, it is “natural” that the creation of a new social program is compensated by an “uncertain collection” such as the taxation of dividends.
In the executive summary that accompanies the disclosure of the central government’s primary result, the Treasury made a defense of fiscal rules and mentioned that the Fiscal Responsibility Law (LRF) prohibits the creation of expenses mandatory on a permanent basis without compensation.
Bittencourt rebutted stories that said the government could not offset the new social program by taxing dividends because revenue is uncertain. “All collection is an estimate. If a new social program were compensated by expense Sure, it wouldn’t be valid for the LRF, because it would mean a worsening in my fiscal result,” he said.
The secretary also stated that the discussion on reducing the tax burden with the tax reform is only possible because the fiscal consolidation is being carried out by the government.