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By Leo Byrne, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Chairman of the joint committee of fiscal plans and public monitoring, Senator Romero Jucá, announced an increase in the proposed minimum wage on Monday. Coming as part of the final report on the 2013 budget, Jucá said that there will be an additional increase of R$4 to R$674.96 per month (from the R$622 rate in 2012).

Romero Jucá, Brazil News
Senator Romero Jucá gave his report on the 2013 budget on Monday, proposing an increase in the minimum wage, hoto by Antonio Cruz/ABr.

The announcement was more than the original government forecast made in November due to higher than expected figure for the Consumer Price Index (INCP). Brazil’s INPC grew by 5.65 percent as opposed to the predicted five percent, meaning that a compensatory minimum wage adjustment was necessary.

Mr. Jucá said that the increase would cost the government purse an additional R$1.36 billion. He also added that investment across government sectors would increase to R$21 billion.

Minister Jucá continued by outlining that the proposed increase to public sector workers’ salaries would remain unchanged, with an increase of five percent next year, growing to 15.8 percent by 2015.

The minister also went one step further and revised cuts to numerous social programs. The Minha Casa, Minha Vida (My Home My Life) is an initiative between the federal and local governments that aims to build two million houses by 2014. Mr. Jucá blocked a proposed cut to the program and instead earmarked it for R$900 million.

Further programs that will not see diminished funding include public transport, which can expect a further investment of R$150 million in 2013.

Although it has suffered from sluggish economic performance recently, the minimum wage announcement comes amid a long period of growth for Brazil that has seen living standards increase dramatically over the last decade.

A recent study in September undertaken by the Strategic Affairs Secretariat (SAE), said that for the first time half of the population were now considered “middle class” in Brazil. The report was hailed as a sign that Brazil was beginning to win its battle with long entrenched inequality.

The SAE defines those in the middle class as people who live in households with a per capita monthly income of between R$291 (US$145) and R$1,019 (US$500) and have a low probability of becoming poor in the near future.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. […] and rising costs of basic services taking a heavy toll on the poor in a country where the minimum wage is a paltry R$675 ($314) a […]

  2. […] inflation and rising costs of basic services taking a heavy toll on the poor in a country where the minimum wage is a paltry R$675 ($314) a month. RT reports that solidarity demonstrations in support of the […]

  3. […] is still a poor country, inhabited by a population that is generally poor by global standards. The minimum wage, despite successive wage increases over the last years, is still a bad joke : 678 R$, which makes […]

  4. […] is still a poor country, inhabited by a population that is generally poor by global standards. The minimum wage, despite successive wage increases over the last years, is still a bad joke : 678 R$, which makes […]

  5. […] fare hike on public transit in São Paulo. It may not seem like much, but in a country where the monthly minimum wage is CAD $316.47, that can add up pretty quickly. Public anger is completely understandable. […]

  6. The problem continues to be same in Brazil. Every time minimum wages are increased, everyone else decides to increase all necessary for the vast mass earning the minimum salary. By doing so, people never gain from their salary increase. Somehow the politics are not capable to froze inflation in order to meet the minimum salary wage in accordance to the simple method:
    Housing, education, food, transportation and health. This is one of many reasons the people of Brazil are demanding a drastic change. Every decent human being around the world need to be engaged on Brazilians fight for equality.

  7. […] fare hike on public transit in São Paulo. It may not seem like much, but in a country where the monthly minimum wage is CAD $316.47, that can add up pretty quickly. Public anger is completely understandable. […]

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