Brazilian Economy Minister Guedes says wages can be raised
Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said on Tuesday that government efficiency gains will help raise wages after years of no significant minimum wage increase and a wage freeze for civil servants.
Speaking virtually at an event organized by the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (Abras), Guedes highlighted efficiency gains through the digitalization of public services and noted that the current administration has not replaced many many retired officials. “We will now be able to grant moderate wage increases based on forward-looking inflation. Now we will maintain purchasing power, or even increase the purchasing power of wages,” he said.
The government of President Jair Bolsonaro, which is seeking re-election in October but trails leftist former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in opinion polls, has earmarked 14.2 billion reais ($2.76 billion) to fund higher salaries for civil servants in the 2023 budget bill sent to Congress. The proposal did not specify the adjustment percentage or which civil servants and professions were being considered for salary increases. The government has come under intense pressure from civil servants for a pay rise as inflation has eroded their purchasing power in Latin America’s biggest economy.
The budget bill included no gains on the minimum wage beyond inflation. During the event, Guedes also said that the Bolsonaro government intends this year to privatize the port of Santos – the largest in Latin America – after setting the minimum price of 3.015 billion reais (586 .32 million) for the privatization auction on Tuesday. ($1 = 5.1425 reais)
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