Brazilian government plans to increase welfare program, senator says

Gasoline and diesel prices are displayed near a petrol station following the announcement of updated fuel prices at Brazilian oil company Petrobras in Brasilia, Brazil June 17, 2022. REUTERS /Ueslei Marcelino

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BRASILIA, June 23 (Reuters) – The Brazilian government is considering a measure to increase its Auxilio Brasil social program, in addition to increasing the amount paid in gas vouchers and creating a fuel aid for truckers, the head of government in the Senate.

The increase in the program – to 600 reais ($114.96) – is believed to be part of a strategy by President Jair Bolsonaro’s government to boost social spending ahead of the October elections. The latest opinion poll showed Bolsonaro with 28% voter support to 47% for former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Read more

“There is a discussion about the possibility of temporarily increasing the social assistance program by 200 reais until the end of the year,” Senator Carlos Portinho said in an interview after a meeting with party leaders .

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According to Portinho, the intention is to allow such spending to circumvent a constitutional spending cap due to the war in Ukraine and rising fuel prices, which are pressuring double-digit inflation in Europe’s biggest economy. ‘Latin America.

The government is ready to put 30 billion reais on the table – a figure that would initially be used to compensate states for fuel taxes they decided to cut, the senator said.

($1 = 5.2191 reais)

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Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Written by Peter Frontini; edited by Peter Siqueira and Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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