BRASILIA – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday he would push for a constitutional amendment to allow the government to cut public sector employee salaries, hours and benefits to help it comply with a public spending cap.
The government has been discussing proposals to reduce tax breaks by 10%, free up government funds to pay down public debt, ease budget rules to lower obligatory spending and reduce job guarantees for new civil servants, officials have said.
Bolsonaro and his Economy Minister Paulo Guedes went to the Congress to deliver a wide-ranging bundle of proposed economic reforms to tackle a budget deficit, hoping to build on momentum from a landmark pension reform.
“We are sure that, in a short time, perhaps early next year, mid-next year at most, this … will become a reality and it will benefit us all,” Bolsonaro, a conservative, said in remarks in Congress that were broadcast on local television.
Lawmakers, however, say none of the major reforms Bolsonaro’s government proposes will pass this year, and there is a tight window in 2020 to pass laws before campaigning starts for local elections in October.