Meirelles defends breaking the spending ceiling to pay R$ 600 in 2023


One of those quoted to take over the Ministry of Economy in a possible Lula government, Henrique Meirelles defended this Tuesday (25) the failure to comply with the spending ceiling to fund Auxílio Brasil in the amount of R$ 600 in 2023.

“It is not possible to reach the family that needs the R$ 600 to eat and say that, from now on, it is only R$ 400. It is not possible, at least for a long time, until the country is able to create jobs, income”, said Meirelles, during participation in a live held by the manager Kinea Investimentos, controlled by Itaú.

According to Meirelles, the difference of R$ 200 in the amount of financial assistance should generate an additional cost of R$ 53 billion for the government budget.

He stated that, in order to cover the higher amount of Auxílio Brasil and other necessary expenses in the country, such as investments in infrastructure and in the social area, an alternative would be to “create an exceptionality for 2023, what the market calls ‘waiver’ [dispensa de uma exigência]saying the following: ‘in 2023, we will exceptionally exceed the ceiling’ “, but with a signal to the market that the rules would be complied with later on, eventually with some adjustment in relation to the deadline.

Meirelles defends privatization program in the Union and in the states

The former minister and former president of the BC (Central Bank) also defended a program of privatization of state-owned companies, whether at the federal or state level. “The number of state-owned companies is very large,” he said. “Many of them have lost their purpose.”

Meirelles also stated that he is in favor of the privatization of Sabesp, so that the sanitation company in the state of São Paulo is capitalized by the private sector so that it has the capacity to make the necessary investments to expand operations and meet the demands of the population. “I hope that the governor-elect privatizes Sabesp, because it is necessary.”

PT candidate for the government of São Paulo, Fernando Haddad has positioned himself against a privatization of Sabesp.

The ex-minister also said that, if Lula wins the elections on Sunday (30), he believes that PT will walk in the economic field towards his first presidential term, with the adoption of a responsible fiscal policy and inflation within the target, which should result in economic growth and job creation.

In an eventual third term of the former president, state-owned companies “will simply fulfill their role”, said Meirelles, who cited BB (Banco do Brasil) as an example. The state-owned bank will be run as a commercial bank, with the government’s aim to make it increasingly efficient and competitive with peers, he said.

Former BC president criticizes national champions policy

The former BC president also criticized the policy adopted by BNDES (National Bank for Economic and Social Development) during PT’s administration, of “national champions” — financing large companies to become a reference in their respective sectors on a global scale. “That only gave trouble, including criminals.”

According to him, the development bank should not compete with the private sector in financing large companies, focusing more on helping small and medium-sized companies to grow. “The big businessman has to finance himself in the market, he doesn’t have to finance himself in the BNDES.”

The administrative reform, to reduce the size of the State and the expenses and to make room for investments in infrastructure and in the social area, and the tax reform, to simplify the incidence of taxes in the country, were also mentioned by Meirelles among the projects that he believes that should be approved by the next government.

The former BC president also said that, in view of an expansionary fiscal policy (increasing expenditures and greater than revenues) adopted by the government in recent months, he considers that it would be reasonable for the monetary authority to promote some further small upward adjustment in the rate. interest rates, in order to signal the importance of the government’s economic responsibility.

“Maybe talk a little harder on that line,” stated Meirelles.

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