2022 Race

Bolsonaro rushes to scrap vestiges of Bolsa Família

bolsonaro vestiges Bolsa Família
Jair Bolsonaro in an event to promote his Auxílio Brasil program. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

One of Jair Bolsonaro’s main strategies to claw his way back into contention in the presidential race was the move to rename the Bolsa Família cash-transfer program (now called Auxílio Brasil) and increase its monthly payments. 

Now, in order to bury the Bolsa Família program — which is heavily associated with former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Mr. Bolsonaro’s main challenger, the government wants to change the cards used for withdrawals.

The Citizenship Ministry is reportedly trying to get BRL 130 million (USD 25 million) to print 72 million new cards. The move is questioned by public spending experts who point out the fact that the government has been forced to freeze parts of the budget in order to make ends meet.

Supporters of the measure say that the new card will bring new technology that will allow for its use as a debit card.