By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The new finance minister, Henrique de Campos Meirelles, said today (May 13th) that the most important measure to be taken by the Ministry of Finance will be to contain the increase in public spending. According to Meirelles, the government has to control expenditure to avoid the growth of public spending.
Former president of the Central Bank of Brazil, Henrique Meirelles took office yesterday (May 12th), and this morning, takes part in the first ministerial meeting of the interim president Michel Temer. Later in the morning, he is scheduled to give an interview at the Ministry of Finance.
At age 70, Meirelles had presided over the Central Bank (BC) from 2003-2010, during the two terms of Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva’s presidency. He is replacing Nelson Barbosa who had been the Minister of Finance since December 18, 2015, when he replaced Joaquim Levy.
In his new plan for Brazil’s finance ministry, Meirelles said, “We are working on a system of expenditure targets, where there is no real growth of expenses,” and also pointed out that the government will establish that “accounts are kept in nominal terms.”
Meirelles pointed out that any measures that have already been announced and implemented, will be kept. “We can not make a decision today, then a different one tomorrow, then a third one next week,” he emphasized.
He said further that for any changes to be effective and produce the desired outcome, which in this case is a return to a growing economy, they must be adopted gradually. Meirelles added that the most important thing at this time for Brazil is “to tell the truth and be clear about public accounts.”
For Meirelles, it is necessary to be transparent about what is going on and focus strongly on data collection. “With security, clearly, we will take and announce necessary measures, which will be done in a relatively short time,” he said in an interview with Good Morning Brazil, Globo.