Deputies and senators disagree about rules on the return of emergency income; the proposal is considered indispensable to guarantee the economic recovery
Amid the advances of Covid-19 in Brazil, which imposes new closings of the trade, more restrictions, curfews and rigid lockdown, one of the biggest doubts of the population involves the possible – and long awaited – return of the emergency aid. Subject of intense debate no National Congress, the proposal is considered indispensable to guarantee the financial maintenance of the most vulnerable families and, at the same time, to stimulate the recovery of several sectors of the economy. “The economy has not yet taken off, the level of unemployment continues to rise. This means that more financial stimulus will be needed in the year 2021. We are at a crossroads, if we do not keep the emergency aid and the Jobs Program, we will be able to see the economy sink, as we will take the legs of support from the resumption ”, explains the economist Igor Lucena. According to him, unlike other countries, where the economy’s fall reached 10%, the decrease in the Brazilian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 4.1%. Although it represents “one of the worst results in the last 120 years”, the index indicates the relevance of assistance income for the maintenance of the economy. “When we say that it fell 4.1% it means that we have preserved hundreds of thousands of companies, which have managed to have a new source of revenue. We had sectors of the economy that started earning revenue because their customers started receiving emergency aid. ”
The aid is cited by Lucena as a necessary measure to rebuild workers’ income and keep the economy running, and her supporters underscore the importance of it in asking for her immediate return. After all, was the emergency aid extended? For now, the answer is no. The resumption of the benefit is not yet guaranteed and remains as a central topic of discussion between economists and parliamentarians. However, the main step to allow assistance return occurred on Thursday, 4, with the approval of the Emergency PEC in second vote no Federal Senate. With the result, the text goes on to be discussed in the Chamber of Deputies, where it may suffer changes and pressure from parliamentarians. Opposition deputies ask for an increase in emergency income, with greater coverage and greater value of the parcels. In contrast, government leaders argue that the benefit increases the country’s debt. The rapporteur of the text in the Chamber, deputy Daniel Freitas (PSL-SC), indicated on Friday, 5, that his opinion should follow the text sent by the Senate. “Any change in this PEC, it makes Brazil delay. Therefore, we will discuss, we will talk, and try to speed up the progress of this PEC as soon as possible ”, he said. In this context of doubts, the Young pan gathered the main information on the resumption of emergency aid and the points of conflict about the return of the program. Check it out below:
The first installment of emergency aid, which started in March 2020, had a value of R $ 600 for self-employed and unemployed beneficiaries and R $ 1,200 for mothers who are heads of household, that is, the main ones responsible for the financial maintenance of the home. The amount remained in effect for the first five months of payment, being reduced by half in the last four installments. As a result, monthly payments increased to R $ 300. The R $ 600 went to women who were heads of household, as they had already been. Now, with the possible return of the benefit, the value of the installments is one of the reasons for greater debate between parliamentarians and the federal government. Opposition deputies and senators defend higher values for the monthly income, asking for the return of the benefit to the level of the R$ 600. The main justification is that the benefit is indispensable for the heating of the economy. On social media, politicians raise the hashtag # 600ateofimdapandemia in defense of the full distribution proposal. “The country is collapsing! The price of food continues to rise. Gasoline continues to increase, conditioning these values. There is no ICU bed. The minimum that the State has to guarantee is 600 reais of emergency aid ”, wrote Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede) in his profile on Twitter.
In return, government officials advocate smaller payments. The Commission’s proposal Emergency PEC approved in the Federal Senate this Thursday, estimates that R $ 44 billion will be spent on the new installments of emergency aid, with different amounts distributed for each economic profile, R $ 250 per month for the majority of beneficiaries and R $ 375 for mothers of the family. However, the issue may suffer new pressures in the Chamber and the values may be increased, as happened last year, when deputies increased the government’s proposal from R $ 200 monthly to R $ 600. For Igor Lucena, the ideal was that payments were at least R $ 500. “I support at least R $ 500 aid. However, given the political situation in the country, where there is no harmony between all public agents, in all spheres we see that there are more conflicts than confluences of ideas, it is better to have this assistance [de R$250 a R$ 375], than having nothing. These people have been in need since January. The idea is that this aid will come out now, later this month. It is necessary.”
Another topic that can also generate disputes and changes in Chamber of Deputies is the number of installments of the emergency aid. The text of the Emergency PEC, approved in the Federal Senate, does not stipulate rules on the return of the benefit, such as number of installments and scope. The signal of the federal government is that the payment must be resumed for more four plots to be paid between the months of March and June. However, part of the parliamentarians argues that the return of the benefit needs to happen while the period of health crisis in the country lasts. “Hunger does not wait! We demand emergency aid of at least R $ 600 until the end of the pandemic ”, said deputy Luiza Erundina (PSOL), in a publication on Twitter on March 3rd.
According to economist Igor Lucena, Brazil’s economic recovery is linked to the success of the National Vaccination Plan (PNI) against Covid-19, as well as the cooling of the pandemic and quarantine. For him, considering the delivery schedule of the vaccines Instituto Butantan and Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz) for the coming months, the country should start the economic recovery in four months. However, if this does not happen, a possible further expansion of emergency aid may be necessary. “They can put in safeguards, enact new four months of assistance with the possibility of another three months, if necessary. Put this on to let it already flagged and, when the time comes, it [governo federal] basically extends something that is already in law, without the need for further negotiations. ”
As well as the value and number of installments, the target audience for emergency assistance should also change. In 2020, about 67 million Brazilians received installments of assistance income. Now, with the possible return of the benefit, this amount should total approximately 44 million people. The beneficiaries who must have access to the extension of the emergency income and those who can be left out, as well as payment amounts, will be defined in a Provisional Measure of the federal government, which will be published after voting and approval in the Chamber of Deputies. For Igor Lucena, self-employed, unemployed, mothers who are heads of household and people in situations of greater social vulnerability, all previously included in the emergency aid, need help to face the coming months of the pandemic.
“The pandemic is not over. If these health factors are not over, there is no point in the aid being terminated. We are talking about necessary assistance, we are talking about maintenance, survival, 40 to 70 million Brazilians, a quarter of the Brazilian population had access to assistance. It is a situation of necessity ”. At the same time, the economist points out that, in addition to the informal and beneficiaries of the Family Allowance, workers in sectors with interrupted activities, such as commerce and the event segment, for example, also need measures to help the federal government. The federal government’s proposal is that emergency aid should be resumed in March, with the first payment of the extended benefit. However, the text of the Emergency PEC has yet to be discussed and voted on in the Chamber of Deputies, where it may undergo modifications and even obstruction by the opposition, which advocates more comprehensive and greater emergency aid, given the country’s economic situation.