By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – As Brazil’s government announce the details of the much-awaited social security reform bill, presented to Congress on Wednesday, lines are being drawn, between those who approve of the new bill and those who reject the reform put forth by the Bolsonaro Administration.

Brazil,Congressional representative, Jandira Feghali, criticizes the government's social security reform bill on Wednesday
Congressional representative, Jandira Feghali, criticizes the government’s social security reform bill on Wednesday, photo by Fabio Pozzebom/Agencia Brasil.

For the Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban) the proposal seeks justice and ensures a positive and significant fiscal effect on federal, state and municipal government accounts.

“The change of the current rules of Social Security is essential to ensure the sustained growth of the economy and greater generation of jobs in the country,” says a note signed by the president of the entity, Murilo Portugal

For the Federation of Goods, Services and Tourism of the State of São Paulo (FecomercioSP) it is fundamental for Congress to approve the changes as soon as possible.

“The increase in the life expectancy of the Brazilian population and the fall in the birth rate, coupled with the growing deficit in the pension account, make reform necessary and urgent to ensure the sustainability of the system for future retirees,” says the entity in a statement.

Labor unions, however, criticized the new project.

“There is no reform, what (President) Bolsonaro presented today is the end of social security in the country,” said Vagner Freitas, president of Central Workers’ Union (CUT), one of Brazil’s largest labor unions.

“In addition to the fact that the worker cannot retire, this reform virtually eliminates all the benefits provided by the social security system,” concluded Freitas in a rally held on Wednesday in São Paulo as the bill was being presented in Congress, in Brasilia.

There was also criticism from lawmakers in Brazil’s capital. Chamber of Deputies minority leader, Jandira Feghali, said that the proposal “deconstitutionalizes the Brazilian Social Security. It takes everything from the [Federal] Constitution and puts it in as a Complementary Law,”.

According to the lawmaker, opposition representatives will try to deter the approval of the bill in Congress.


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