Brazil pushes through a broad aid package less than three months before elections

The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has pushed through this Wednesday in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies a package of social measures worth 7.63 billion euros with 81 days to go before the elections, which will be held next October 2.

The proposal provides for an increase in social benefits and the declaration of a “state of emergency” to shield Bolsonaro’s government from accusations of not respecting the electoral law, which prohibits the creation of aid and donations in election year, as reported by the Brazilian newspaper ‘Estadao’.

In a second round of voting, the proposal has obtained 469 votes in favor, 17 against and two abstentions. The measure now passes to Congress for enactment.

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The total aid, which is known by analysts as the Proposed Amendment to the Constitution (PEC) ‘Kamikaze’, will be some 41.25 billion Brazilian reais (€7.63 billion) in subsidies.

Among the measures approved will be an increase in the value of aid to families in the Auxilio Brasil program, formerly Bolsa Familia, and will be given between 400 and 600 Brazilian reais per month (between 74 and 111 euros), in addition to granting a scholarship for truck drivers of 1,000 Brazilian reais (185 euros) and a scholarship for cab drivers of 200 Brazilian reais (37 euros) per month until December of this year.

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The proposal also includes the transfer of gas vouchers, which until now were granted every two months, will become monthly, and their value will be doubled to 120 Brazilian reais (22 euros).

The benefits package also has 2.5 billion reais (462 million euros) to guarantee free urban public transportation for retirees and subsidize the cost of ethanol, with more 3.8 billion Brazilian reais (703 million euros).

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