Brazil’s lower house approved a provisional decree this afternoon which creates the Auxílio Brasil cash-transfer program, the Bolsonaro government’s plan to replace the world-famous Bolsa Família scheme. Originally issued in August, the measure took immediate effect, but can only become law once it is approved by both chambers of Congress.
The new aid payments began being distributed this month, following the amounts paid by Bolsa Família, with an average benefit of BRL 224 (USD 40.27) per family per month. The government intends to increase the monthly payment to BRL 400, but requires extra budgetary space to do so.
Beefing up the cash-transfer scheme depends on the approval of a constitutional amendment capping the government’s repayments of court-ordered debts, or precatórios, for next year. The proposal is currently processing in the Senate, but there are concerns from the administration over whether they will have enough support to approve it.