Congress to discuss tax change as government seeks scapegoat for rising fuel prices

Fuel prices are on the rise in Brazil, and the Bolsonaro administration is seeking to pass the blame on to state governments. The president's allies in Congress are now trying to alter state-levied fuel taxes

fuel prices brazil
Photo: Jair Ferreira Belafacce/Shutterstock

This week, for the first time in 85 days, Brazil’s oil major Petrobras announced a hike in diesel prices. The 9-percent increase is set to cause a headache for the federal government amid a widespread inflationary spiral. As such, with general elections a little over a year away, the central administration is seeking to make sure the blame for rising fuel prices is diverted elsewhere.

The strategy, therefore, has been to pass the buck for increasing fuel prices on the State Goods and Services Tax (ICMS), levied and collected by state governments. ICMS corresponds to 27.6 percent of...

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