Upon assuming office in May 2016, President Michel Temer has promised to lead a pro-business administration and is now focusing on passing unpopular structural reforms. The government was successful in its efforts to pass an overhaul of the labor legal framework, despite union opposition that said the reform would remove workers’ rights.
The pension reform, however, has proved to be a harder pill to swallow. Most Brazilians oppose the bill and, because 2018 is an electoral year, Congress also has its reservations. Lawmakers don’t want to put their offices at risk, no matter what the pension system deficit might be.
The bill’s rapporteur, Rep. Arthur Maia, said on Wednesday that if the House does not approve the bill until December 15, there’s “no way the text will be voted by the Senate in 2018.”
For Michel Temer’s administration, however, some pension reform is better than no pension reform. In an effort to pass changes to Brazil’s expensive pension system, President Michel Temer presented a “slim version” of the original bill, which aims to keep around 60 percent of the 750-800 billion BRL savings envisioned in the first draft.
Temer also promised congressmen to approve two pieces of legislation that put at risk the government’s fiscal health. One of them grants special discounts to rural producers who owe money to the federal government. Another aims to please governors by giving them better conditions to pay states’ debts with the federal administration. Even within Temer’s team, some call this strategy “irresponsible.”
Here are its core points: