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  • Brazil's Congress in capital city Brasilia.

    Brazil's Congress in capital city Brasilia. | Photo: Efe

Published 20 December 2018

Brazil's Congress has approved the 2019 budget, it awaits President Temer's ratification.

Brazil’s Congress approved Wednesday the 2019 budget. In a joint session of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, they passed the Annual Budget Law for 2019, which includes the lowest public investment since 2004.

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The $US256.5 billion budget, approved in a joint congressional session, will be the first of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who will assume the office of the presidency on Jan. 1.

According to the bill, US$1.9 billion will go to refinancing Brazil's debt, US$56  billion will be directed towards fiscal and social security budgets and only US$311million for public investment.

This will be the third consecutive financial year to comply with un-elected President Michel Temer’s "Expenditure Cap" constitutional amendment, which limits the growth of public spending for the next 20 years.

The budget estimates a 2.5 growth in gross domestic product and a 4.2 inflation rate.

Claudio Cajado, a conservative legislator of the Progressives party, told the press that the new government will have few options to work with a tight budget “like concessions, privatization and limiting spending without tax increases.”

The most important expense in the 2019 budget is the pensions system, which Bolsonaro seeks to reform with the support of Congress during his presidency.

The budget also includes resources of a 5.4 increase in the minimum wage, from US$244 to US$258

The recently approved bill will now go to President Temer who need to sign it before it becomes law.

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