Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Senate approves basic text of PEC that opens space for resumption of emergency aid – Prime Time Zone

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After voting in the second round, the proposal will go on to debate and vote in the Chamber of Deputies

LUIS LIMA JR / FOTOARENA / ESTADÃO CONTENT The new coronavirus pandemic has increased pressure on the federal government to resume emergency aid

THE Senate approved, on the night of this Wednesday, 3, the basic text of the Proposed Amendment to the Emergency Constitution (PEC), which makes room in the Budget for new rounds of the emergency aid. The parliamentarians will still analyze the highlights presented, which, if approved, can modify the matter. Subsequently, the proposal will be forwarded to the Chamber of Deputies, where it needs the approval of at least 308 of the 513 deputies. The president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM-MG), asked for the breaking of the regimental interstice so that the two PEC shifts could be carried out on the same day. The expectation is that the matter will pass smoothly after a series of negotiations between parliamentarians and the Ministry of Economy. The PEC was scheduled to be taken to the Senate floor last Thursday, 25, but the vote was postponed due to a lack of consensus among the leaders.

The Emergency PEC does not describe the rules for the return of the benefit. Points such as the value of the parcels, the number of people served and the extent of payments will be defined by a provisional measure or a bill authored by federal government. The expectation is that the aid will be R $ 250, distributed over four months, with expenses of approximately R $ 30 billion to the public coffers – the most recent opinion presented by Senator Márcio Bittar (MDB-AC) establishes at R $ 44 billion the maximum expenditure for the granting of emergency aid. The text debated by parliamentarians, however, gives support for the measure to remain outside the spending ceiling, the rule that limits the Union’s costs to the previous year’s budget, readjusted by inflation. On the other hand, PEC determines austerity measures to compensate for the increase in expenses. The menu proposes a tax adjustment mechanism if the expenses of the Union, state or municipality exceed 95% of current revenues. These restrictions are defended by the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, and may include the suspension of public tenders, the creation of positions or the increase of benefits.

Emergency aid consumed approximately R $ 320 billion from public coffers in 2020, according to data from the Ministry of Economy, representing the largest expenditure of the measures adopted by the federal government in combating new coronavirus and the main responsible for the rise in public debt to R $ 5 trillion. The distribution started in April, with installments of R $ 600 and R $ 1,200, and is expected to extend over three months. At the beginning of the second semester, the measure was renewed for another three months, and again in September, but with the amounts reduced by half. Approximately R $ 67 million Brazilians were benefited by the measure last year. In December 2020, Guedes reiterated that the aid would not be resumed. The position of the head of the economic team did not withstand pressure from Congress after the pandemic worsened and the delay in immunization. The speech changed, and Guedes said that the government had money for new installments and that the benefit would be released upon approval by Congress of measures to prevent the surge in public spending.

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