The rapporteur of the Budget Guidelines Bill (PLDO) of 2024, deputy Danilo Forte (União-CE), confirmed this Thursday morning (16) that the fiscal goal of eliminating the deficit in public accounts is maintained. The statement was given shortly after a meeting he had with the economic team and senator Randolfe Rodrigues (no party-AP), government leader in Congress.
The meeting took place amid discussions on changing the fiscal target after President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) said that it would be difficult for the government to close the deficit next year, which led Finance Minister Fernando Haddad to act as a firefighter and say that there was no “disengagement” with the promise.
“[Está mantida] the zero fiscal target, took away any possibility of amending the report, any modifying message regarding what is being decided, and the preservation of the fiscal framework”, said Forte after the meeting.
The deputy said that the work will now be to complete the vote on the text, which already had the preliminary report approved by the Mixed Budget Committee (CMO) last week, which “will give the country a feasible budget in 2024”.
Danilo Forte explained that the possibility of reviewing the fiscal target could occur “in the future”, but that, “at present, he maintained the zero fiscal target”. This opens up the possibility that was already being discussed behind the scenes, that a change could be made in March 2024, when the government will carry out the first bimonthly assessment of Budget expenses.
Despite maintaining the fiscal target at zero for next year, the deputy said he alerted Haddad to unnecessary expenses in the Budget that could lead to possible resource constraints. However, he did not mention what these expenses are.
Any amendments go to the plenary
Danilo Forte explained that any amendments presented to the LDO project, such as that of federal deputy Lindbergh Faria (PT-RJ) which foresees a deficit of up to 1% of GDP, will be analyzed by the commission and can be discussed in the Chamber plenary. The deadline for submission ends this Friday (17).
“Everything will be debated and discussed by the committee and, if the amendment is not accepted by the rapporteur, it can be highlighted in the plenary vote. And, in the plenary, there is a majority to decide,” he said.
He also stated that senator Randolfe Rodrigues should present more amendments to the budget text, but without mentioning what they are about. With this, the rapporteur hopes to close the project by next Monday (20), night, and present the final report on Tuesday (21), maintaining the zero fiscal target for 2024.
Haddad’s victory, but with more taxes
Maintaining the zero fiscal target for next year is a victory for Haddad, who has defended the balance of public accounts since the beginning of his government – and which caused differences with the PT. Forte stated that the minister expressed concern about approving the government’s economic projects that increase tax collection and support the goal of eliminating the deficit in public accounts in 2024.
“He himself raised the concern of making it possible to conclude the vote on the matters that are being processed, both the issue of exclusive funds, offshore companies, issues being processed in court… And, on top of that, it was concluded that it could be worked towards this goal zero tax in the face of this entire equation presented by the minister”, continued the deputy, highlighting that he hopes that these demands will be able to be approved.
The possibility of changing the fiscal target from zero to something around 0.75% to up to 1% of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) next year generated a reaction both in the financial market and in the opposition to the Lula government.
Despite already predicting that it may be difficult to meet the goal of closing the gap in public accounts next year, the government is working with an expectation of 0.25% of GDP as foreseen in the rules of the new fiscal framework.