The Senate of Brazil [official website] on Tuesday approved [official summary, in Portuguese] a measure to limit growth in federal spending to the rate of inflation for the next 20 years. The austerity measure, known as PEC 55 [press release, in Portuguese] establishes a tax regime that limits the amount on expenditures based on the previous fiscal year in order to curb spending and reduce debt. The vote has been met with intense protest from residents who believe the move is a threat to the funding for social services and education. The government indicated that these measures are needed to ensure long term growth [press release, in Portuguese]. The government has postponed a hearing to reduce pension benefits until Thursday.
Under President Michel Temer, Brazil is trying to save its economy after various government official became embroiled in corruption charges [JURIST news archive]. Temer said in November that he would block a controversial bill [JURIST report ] that would grant amnesty to politicians who received illegal campaign donations. Brazilian Federal Police in Rio de Janeiro arrested former governor Sérgio Cabral in November on allegations of corruption [JURIST report]. Brazil’s Attorney General Rodrigo Janot in Novemer warned [JURIST report] that politicians involved in the Petrobras graft, the nation’s largest-ever corruption scandal, are seeking to pass new legislation absolving themselves of punishment for any crimes.