Bolsonaro government prefers social benefits before runoff election
With ex-President Lula’s recent success, the race for Brazil’s highest office is open again. Is Bolsonaro using his power as incumbent to win voters’ favor?
Shortly after narrowly winning the first round of the presidential election in Brazil through the left-wing ex-head of state Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the government of the right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro brought forward the payment of social benefits.
The family allowance, for example, will be paid out a week earlier than planned in October, according to the Brazilian news agency “Agência Brasil”. Accordingly, the payout begins on October 11th and ends on October 25th instead of October 31st. On October 30th there will be a runoff between Lula and Bolsonaro.
In July, Congress in Brasília approved the declaration of a state of emergency, lifting the constitutional ceiling on government spending. This gave President Bolsonaro’s government permission to spend the equivalent of around 7.5 billion euros more by the end of the year – for example, to social benefits to increase. In addition, truck and taxi drivers should be supported, taxes on ethanol reduced and cooking gas subsidized.
Opposition MPs also voted in favor of the decision. Their justification was that it was necessary to support the poorest part of the population in the country with more than 210 million inhabitants. lula ruled from the beginning of 2003 to the end of 2010 and lifted millions of people out of abject poverty with social programs.