Lula says he will not change fuel ICMS

Lula says he will not change fuel ICMS

Former president and candidate for the PT, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, said this Tuesday (27) during an interview with SBT that he will not change the legislation that established a ceiling for the ICMS (Tax on Circulation of Goods) and Services) of fuels, a proposal by Jair Bolsonaro (PL) approved by Congress in June.

The PT, however, criticized the current president for cutting the tax. He said that the legislation is the result of a political decision by Bolsonaro and that he will be held accountable when federal units lack resources in areas such as health and education.

ICMS is a state tax with a significant weight in the budget of federal entities. The 17% or 18% ceiling established by the new legislation affects, in addition to fuel, sectors such as energy, transport and telecommunications.

The change was part of the Planalto Palace’s offensive to try to reduce the price of gasoline and diesel a few months before the election and opened up a new arena of conflict between the federal government and the states, which even took the matter to the STF (Supremo Federal Court) to claim compensation for lost earnings.

“He could have reduced the price of gasoline without changing the ICMS of the states, he went to change it to try to show that he could win politically”, said the PT in this Tuesday’s interview, also stating that the responsibility is entirely Bolsonaro’s.

“I don’t want to mess with governor politics,” he replied.

Lula stated that a fair gasoline price is necessary, again defending the change in Petrobras’ pricing policy, as an alternative to the state tax ceiling policy, which is levied on products sold daily and directly affects state revenue.

“Petrobras prospects for oil in reais, it refines in reais, so it needs the price to be in reais,” he said.

The state-owned company’s pricing policy, which tracks international prices, is also criticized by Bolsonaro. The president has already stated that a fuel price adjustment by the state-owned company would have “political interest to reach the federal government” and that the company could “plunge Brazil into chaos”.

In Lula’s view, Bolsonaro did not have the courage to contradict the company’s management or minority shareholders.

In the interview, the candidate also said that Brazil does not need a spending cap, which he classified as an instrument for someone who “does not know how to govern”.

Lula also stated that he intends to negotiate new attributions to the Central Bank, which, according to him, may also have the power to “deliver the goal of economic growth and the goal of unemployment”.

He said, however, that he would talk to the current president of the institution, Roberto Campos Neto, whom he referred to as a reasonable person and a competent economist.

Campos Neto took over the BC at the beginning of Bolsonaro’s term. During the government, the autarchy gained autonomy — a change historically criticized by the PT.

Autonomy has as its main point the determination of fixed terms of four years for the president and directors of the autarchy.

The strongest argument in favor of the management model is based on the fact that the fixed term aims to shield the BC from political interference.

The terms of office can be renewed only once and do not coincide with that of the President of the Republic.

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