Brazil’s congress will vote on the country’s 2022 budget today.
The budget includes $14.9 billion in spending for the country’s new Auxilio Brasil welfare program, which will give monthly payments of $71 dollars to 17 million families.
Earlier this month, Brazil’s congress passed a constitutional amendment that freed up over $17.5 billion by curbing court-ordered payments to the judiciary and raising the country’s spending ceiling to $261 billion. The increased spending comes as Brazil enters a presidential election in 2022, with current President Jair Bolsonaro trailing behind former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in opinion polls. Bolsonaro also faces an ongoing probe into his pandemic response, as well as a recession caused by inflation, interest rate hikes and a drought which has hurt Brazilian agriculture and increased electricity prices.
Expect the new social spending to boost Bolsonaro’s popularity going into the 2022 elections. Although new spending may shorten the current recession and improve the lives of Brazil’s poorest, expect the budget to increase inflation and government debt in the coming year. Expect the limits on judiciary payments to cause ongoing tension between the Presidency and the Judiciary regardless of who wins next year’s election.
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Kyle is a Publisher and Analyst on the Analysis team. He specializes in foreign policy and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a particular focus on Mexico and Central America.