Brazil can expand social protections while avoiding budget crisis

But with debt ballooning, where will Brazil find the money to pay for much-needed social protections?

Brazil can expand social protections while avoiding budget crisis, say researchers
Poor neighborhood in Planaltina, Goiás. Photo: Marcos Casiano/Shutterstock

The severe impacts of Covid-19 on vulnerable populations has reignited a longstanding debate on social security in Brazil. Though initially repelled by the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro, the federal government’s coronavirus emergency salary proved to be essential in preserving the income of vulnerable populations and sustaining consumption, avoiding what would have been an even more severe economic collapse due to the pandemic.

And crucially it has opened the eyes of politicians from all ends of the political spectrum to the need to extend Brazil’s social protection network.

The emergency coronavirus salary initially paid out BRL 600 (USD 106) each...

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