The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, defended this Sunday his initiative to increase social aid and assured that the measure does not target the 2022 elections, where he will seek reelection, as indicated by opponents and analysts.
“We regret the situation in which the poor find themselves in Brazil, going through difficulties. We are not fighting for the elections in 2022. That issue is not touched, “said Bolsonaro with the Minister of Economy Paulo Guedes, at a fair in Brasilia.
The president’s popularity is at the lowest point since he assumed power in 2019, in an unfavorable economic context. Inflation reached 10.25% in the twelve months to September and unemployment stands at 13.7 percent.
The president “is a popular politician (…) he is not a populist,” said Guedes, questioned for giving in to Bolsonaro’s idea, considered by some to be electoral.
In the midst of the multiplication of images of people looking for food in the garbage, the president last week launched his initiative to raise the amount of the social aid program to 400 reais (about $ 70) by the end of 2022 Brazil Aid, successor of the popular Family Bag.
The current average for the program is 192 reais ($ 33) per month.
But the expense implied by the increase for some 17 million Brazilians exceeds the limit established by the fiscal responsibility law, something that disturbed the market and caused four resignations in the Ministry of Economy In the past week.
The government intends to bypass that ceiling with a maneuver based on reforms that are already in the hands of Congress.
After ratifying his confidence in Guedes on Friday, which denied rumors of estrangement, Bolsonaro again supported him this Sunday: “We are going to go out together,” he said.