Lower House to cut expenses during Covid-19 crisis

financial aid Covid-19 forces Brazil's Congress into de facto recess
The House’s “Green Room,” almost empty. Photo: Lula Marques/APT

The lower house will reduce its budget by BRL 150 million due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The money will be taken from expenses on airline tickets, hotel accommodation, services, hiring non-essential services, and purchases of furniture and equipment.

The spending cut was announced by House Speaker Rodrigo Maia this Tuesday during a press conference. The congressman also said that it would be verý challenging to approve the so-called “Mansueto Plan,” which is a much-awaited bill containing measures to help the states overcome their debts.

According to Mr. Maia, the discussion will be postponed so as not to be contaminated by the losses that states are suffering due to their current drop in revenue, resulting from the interruption of the economy amid social isolation measures. “The current understanding is to confront this short-term crisis first,” said the Speaker.

Mr. Maia said that states will suffer losses of up to 40 percent in revenue over the next six months, and that the current moment should be used to discuss how to cover this fiscal gap and seek lines of credit to help companies maintain their working capital and not resort to layoffs.

Meanwhile, judges cling on to their privilege, writes reporter Lucas Berti.