How the Covid-19 emergency aid impacts Brazil’s finances

Covid-19 emergency aid has kept Bolsonaro's approval ratings stable, but does the government have the firepower to sustain it?

How the Covid-19 emergency aid impacts Brazil's finances
President Jair Bolsonaro and members of his cabinet outside of the presidential palace. Photo: Carolina Antunes/PR

Despite many mistakes, delays, and glitches, the three-month BRL 600 (USD 107) emergency salary created in March is the Brazilian government’s key policy to curb the devastating economic impacts of Covid-19. Eligible beneficiaries include informal workers, single or teenage mothers, and the so-called “individual entrepreneurs.” The much-needed cushion, even if small, could be a matter of life and death to millions of families — and has helped improve President Jair Bolsonaro’s approval ratings up among lower-income voters.

At first, the government’s economic team had put forward a very conservative aid proposal of only BRL 200 per month — before...

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