The Economy Ministry has not received guidance from the government to study a change in the spending cap and does not agree with a relaxation of the rule, three sources from the economic team told Reuters, after President Jair Bolsonaro said he intends to discuss a change in the fiscal rule after the elections.
This Friday, Bolsonaro said that the change would allow the use of resources for infrastructure works in case of excess tax collection.
“Last year, we had an excess of revenue […]. You can’t use a penny of that on infrastructure given the constitutional amendment of the roof back there. That’s why a lot of people argue that something has to be changed, we’ll leave it for the future, after the elections, to discuss this issue”, he said in an interview with Rádio Metrópole FM, from Cuiabá (MT).
According to two officials from the economic team, the area responsible for managing the Ministry’s Budget has not received any demand from the government to evaluate initiatives in this regard.
“The ceiling is still very important. When we have a surplus, we can think about improvements,” said one of the members of the portfolio.
The current official government projection points out that the federal accounts will return to the blue only in 2025.
A third source stated that no type of flexibility in the spending ceiling is under discussion in the folder. The economic model of the current administration prioritizes a reduction in public spending and stimulation of private investments.
This member of the portfolio stressed that the ministry has plans to resume public investment, but through another mechanism that would not reach the spending ceiling.
The plan prepared internally by the Ministry of Economy provides for the directing of resources from privatizations to funds that could, among other functions, finance infrastructure works. The proposal has not yet been formally presented.
The constitutional amendment to the spending ceiling limits the growth of federal expenses to the variation of inflation and is in the sights of candidates for the Planalto. Leader in the polls, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has already taken a stand against the measure, and his advisers defend changes in the rule to allow for an increase in expenses.
(*Edited by José de Castro)