Lawmakers, execs show support for Brazil pension reform

Leaders from 13 parties have backed the overhaul, many only partly

Published in 26/03/2019 - 18:55 By Agência Brasil - Brasília

Leaders from 13 political parties on Tuesday (Mar. 26) released a note supporting the reform in Brazil’s pension system, with a set of conditions. They request that two items be reconsidered: the so-called Benefit of Continued Provision (BPC in the original Portuguese), which serves people with disabilities and low-income elders aged above 65, and country retirement, which is concerned with the most impoverished section of the population.

In the view of lawmaker Elmar Nascimento, Democrats’ lower house leader, removing the aforementioned items is key to protecting people below the poverty line. The Parliament, he argues, is seeking to protect “the poorest and most vulnerable” in the new legislation.

“There has been an insidious campaign being conducted on social media saying we’re considering a reform that will affect the poorer, and, through this manifesto with leaders making up the majority in Congress, we want to show that we will not do anything to deprive the poorer from their rights,” he noted.

The Congress members also oppose removing the country’s pension system from the scope of the Constitution. In their view, preserving the rules set forth in the constitution is a way to “ensure legal security to all of those affected by such an important and necessary reform,” Nascimento said.

The opposition

Parties in the opposition have criticized the text outlining the  overhaul. Opposition leader Alessandro Molon, also a member of the lower house, said anti-Bolsonaro parties have come together against several items in the reform, which he says harm the poor. This group comprises 133 lawmakers.

“We will fight to prevent this bill from being approved. If approved, it will aggravate Brazil’s main scourge—social inequality—which is why we cannot tolerate it,” Molon declared.

Executives

Also on Tuesday (26) a group of executives form the Movimento Brasil 200 met with President Jair Bolsonaro to hand him an open letter in support of the government’s pension reform.

“The mother of all reforms is the New Pension System, which signals fiscal solidity, responsibility for the future of the country, and the guarantee for economic stability for the coming years,” a passage from the letter reads.

The change in retirement rules, the document adds, “is a consensus among all of the most responsible economists in the country,” and “the productive classes as well as the financial market.”

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Augusto Queiroz

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