delivery to Senate of the Proposed Amendment to the Constitution (PEC) which aims to guarantee the continuity of payments of R$600 of the future Bolsa Família from next year was postponed last Wednesday night (23) due to the lack of consensus among Senate leaders.
According to the general rapporteur for the 2023 Budget, senator Marcelo Castro (MDB-PI), the senators do not understand each other regarding the time in which expenses with the Bolsa Família may remain outside the spending ceiling rule, nor in in relation to the final value of the proposal.
“Today will not be presented. No consensus was formed. I have been advocating from the beginning that we expend our energies towards consensus. […] The idea is that by the end of November it will be approved in the Senate, but the most difficult thing is not to process it, it is to reach an understanding of what the ideal text is”
Senator Marcelo Castro (MDB-PI), general rapporteur for the 2023 Budget
The general coordinator of the transition team and elected vice president, Geraldo Alckmin (PSB), delivered to the senators on Wednesday of last week, the 16th, the draft of the PEC, which is a suggested text for the PEC of the Transition, suggesting an expenditure of R$198 billion and the maintenance of Bolsa Família outside the spending ceiling for an indefinite period, however, the amounts and deadline did not please all parliamentarians.
PEC of R$600 from Bolsa Família
The Transition PEC intends to authorize the new government to spend around R$175 billion above the spending cap rule to guarantee sufficient resources to maintain payments of R$600 of the Auxílio Brasil, which will once again be called Bolsa Família from januaryand pay an additional R$150 for families with children up to six years old, adding up to R$750 for families.
The preview of the text presented to senators last week foresaw the expenditure of BRL 157 billion to fund the BRL 600 and another BRL 18 billion to finance the BRL 150 more, in addition to forecasting the spending of another BRL 24 billion for other areas that the government believes they need resources, however, this is just a suggestion, and the final version of the text should have been officially presented to the National Congress yesterday, when it was postponed due to lack of consensus.
Transition PEC to fund Brazil Aid
The spending cap rule defines that the government of the moment can only spend the same amount spent in the current year corrected for inflation in the following year, thus, it has the objective of serving as a brake on the increase of public expenses, preventing the next government will simply spend what it deems necessary to maintain Bolsa Família in 2023, and therefore, it is necessary for Congress to approve a PEC to authorize this extra expenditure.
To become effective and open the way for payments of R$600 from the new Bolsa Família, the Transition PEC will need to be edited, discussed and voted on in two shifts, requiring the vote of at least 308 deputies, when the vote takes place in the Chamber, and the vote of at least 49 senators, when the vote takes place in the Senate, a situation that makes its approval risky, as it will depend on a lot of negotiation between the elected government and parliamentarians.
However, members of the transition team have already been negotiating with leaders of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate since the beginning of the month to get the PEC approved, and despite the postponement, the budget’s general rapporteur expects it to start be processed by the Senate until the end of the month, being joined to another proposal already advanced to avoid lengthy discussions on the subject, and after being approved by the Senate, in early December, it is expected to go to the Chamber, where it should also be approved before the recess, which begins on December 23.