On the day of the vote on the fiscal framework, the government releases R$ 1.1 billion in parliamentary amendments
Resources are mandatory, but the government tends to release them when it needs to strengthen support in Congress. Parliamentarians have complained about the damming of amendments. On the day the Chamber of Deputies voted on the basic text of the fiscal framework, the main agenda of Lula’s economic team, the government pledged (that is, set aside for payment) around R$ 1.1 billion. With the new contribution, the total commitment this year in parliamentary amendments reaches R$ 2.9 billion. The data are from Siga Brasil, the amendment execution panel linked to the Federal Senate, and were updated this Tuesday (23). Almost all of the funds are earmarked for individual amendments, for deputies and senators. The resources pledged this Tuesday (23) were divided as follows: R$ 800 million for deputies R$ 288.4 million for senators A small portion, around R$ 700 thousand, was released for amendments by state benches. Read also: New fiscal framework: see point by point the text approved in the Chamber New fiscal framework: understand practical effects on the economy and next steps after approval in the Chamber New framework: see how each deputy voted Tax amendments Both features (individual and bench ) are taxable, that is, mandatory execution – the government is obliged to pay throughout the year. Despite this, the government tends to release amendments at times when it needs to strengthen support in Congress. For the year 2023, the Federal Budget foresees BRL 36.5 billion for parliamentary amendments. Each year, each senator is entitled to indicate BRL 59 million in individual amendments and each deputy, BRL 32 million. The release of funds comes amid the government’s attempt to raise support in Congress. Chamber plenary approved the basic text of the new tax rule on May 23, 2023 Pablo Valadares/Chamber of Deputies Many parliamentarians, including those from the government’s allied base, complain that the Executive has been slow to release resources. And, even with the billionaire commitment, deputies assess that it is still little. By way of comparison, by May 2022, the government of Jair Bolsonaro had already committed BRL 11.9 billion. In 2020, between January and May, R$ 12.7 billion were invested in parliamentary amendments. In 2021 and 2019, however, the commitment accumulated until May was still low – BRL 111 million and BRL 256 million, respectively. Most of the commitment, in these years, began to advance from June onwards. Before the vote on the framework, a government deputy told the report that he has been charged in his electoral base because the amendments have not arrived. The complaint has been recurrent among many parliamentarians. Other amendments There is yet another type of “amendment”, this time in an informal format. Last year, when the Federal Supreme Court (STF) declared the rapporteur’s amendments, dubbed the “secret budget”, unconstitutional, around R$ 10 billion was directed towards the so-called discretionary expenditures of the Executive. Despite being a resource to be used by the federal government, parliamentarians demand indications of these values, also as a way of guaranteeing support in Congress. In practice, these resources were “inherited” from the secret budget and also became a kind of amendment, but even more difficult to track. According to technicians, as these resources enter as discretionary expenses, they are mixed with other expenses chosen by the Executive – all with the rubric “RP2”. Therefore, it is not possible to differentiate them from other expenses in the Budget and Siga Brasil cannot identify them.