President Bolsonaro reports new social benefits

And says that regarding foreign policy Brazil “is doing very well”

Published in 03/02/2022 - 11:09 By Agência Brasi - Brasília - Agência Brasil - Brasília

President Jair Bolsonaro was interviewed on Wednesday (Jan. 2), by A Voz do Brasil radio program. Among other things, he spoke about Brazil’s economic recovery after the impacts of the pandemic, the social program Brazil Aid and also about the country joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This was the first time that a Brazil’s President is interviewed live by the state radio program - whose broadcast is mandatory - produced by Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC)

“Brazil is a unique business opportunity for the whole world,” Bolsonaro explained. The invitation to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), made this week, is a “quality seal” that attests to legal security for contracts, businesses and investments, he said. He also pointed out that Brazil's image abroad has been strengthened during his government. “Brazil is doing very well regarding foreign policy,” he said.

Social programs

The president, who earlier participated in the inaugural ceremony of the legislative year in the National Congress, spoke about the new income transfer program Brazil Aid (Auxílio Brasil), which he considers an important tool in maintaining the economy.

Bolsonaro announced that the government intends to increase the value of the Gas Aid benefit. The program shall assist 5.5 million low-income families, until the end of 2026, to purchase cooking gas at 50% of the average price of a 13-kilogram-cylinder every two months. Negotiations on budget feasibility to review the value of the benefit have been carried out with Petrobras. This week, congressmen shall make a proposal to reduce or eliminate taxes on fuel, electricity, and cooking gas, he said.

Strategies

According to the president, the government has developed different strategies for two groups of the population. Regarding people who have informal jobs, Bolsonaro mentioned the emergency aid installments paid in 2021. He pointed out that 68 million people have benefited from this social program. “The emergency aid kept the economy alive and granted a minimum of dignity for those who have informal jobs. 

Regarding the ones who have formal job posts, but whose employers have been affected by the health restrictions imposed by the pandemic, he said that they have been assisted by the National Support Program for Micro and Small Businesses (Pronampe) and the Emergency Benefit for Employment and Income Maintenance (Bem).

Economy

The president said that another initiative to encourage economy is the reduction of the Tax on Industrialized Products (IPI) levied on automobiles, extended last year for another five years. The tax rebate is applied to taxi drivers and people with disabilities, which now includes people with hearing impairments. 

Bolsonaro also mentioned the implementation of Pix, the Central Bank's free banking system, which he considered revolutionary. “Pix is a revolution. Over 100 million people use it and it's free. It was a clever way for the Central Bank to bring people to the banks through Pix,” he stated.

Regarding the student finance funding, Bolsonaro informed that debt amnesty for those who are in default is available and that students will be able to pay off debts at Caixa Econômica Federal (CEF) or Banco do Brasil (BB) branches, with discounts up to 92%. “For these kids we’ve offered an amnesty of 92% of that total amount, based on what they had paid as interests. Students can go to CEF or BB and pay 8% of what they have received in installments.”

 

Translation: Mário Nunes -  Edition: Pedro Ivo de Oliveira/Nira Foster

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