“Crass error” allows middle-class families to get emergency aid

emergency aid
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The government began distributing the three-month BRL 600 emergency salary as a way to curb the economic effects of Covid-19 among vulnerable populations. Informal workers with declared monthly revenue of up to BRL 3,000 (USD 532) and single mothers were made eligible for the benefit. However, in the rush to set up the benefit as soon as possible, the government left the system filled with holes, allowing people of higher income to unlawfully receive the aid as well.

Newspaper O Globo reports that the Citizenship Ministry failed to cross-check applications with Federal Revenue Service data, thus allowing young people with no declared income and spouses with no formal occupation to register. According to an anonymous source, it was a “crass error.”

This is by no means the first time the government identified fraud in the system. Last week, the Defense Ministry found 73,000 military troops had unlawfully pocketed the benefit, before the Federal Accounts Court ordered the money to be reimbursed. Meanwhile, 10 million Brazilians had their applications turned down by the government.As we have explained in yesterday’s Daily Briefing, the emergency aid has kept President Jair Bolsonaro’s approval ratings somewhat stable — and is promoting a shift in his support base. On Wednesday, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes vented the idea of slashing the benefit.

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