SAO PAULO – The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), maintained this Tuesday (24) that the National Congress will seek alternatives to guarantee fiscal responsibility amidst the impasse involving the payment of R$ 89 .1 billion in court orders in 2022.
The congressman participated in the panel “Brazil in debate: The role of the Legislature for the country’s development in the economic recovery”, by Expert XP 2021. Watch the highlights in the video above.
During the event, Lira denied the thesis aired by members of the government and congressmen of removing the expenses with final and unappealable court decisions from the spending ceiling. He defended a path away from breaking the fiscal rule, from an “institutional default” or from committing a large part of the public sector to such payments.
“What do we want? Is that speculation that the ceiling will break through? Is there an institutional default? Does the machine stop investing, be totally consumed by court orders? We have these three alternatives or an alternative worked out. I prefer a reasonably worked-out alternative, which will have to be negotiated a lot”, he stated.
According to the president of the Chamber, most of the resources that should be paid next year as court orders are no longer in the hands of the original applicants and today the subject is the target of great interest from market players and law firms.
“This is already in the hands of a private fund, an investment fund, the market has already priced it. This has already been bought at a very violent discount. And today there is a court decision, which we have to respect, and there are monstrous interests behind the receipt of these orders. It is a problem that has to be faced clearly”, he said.
“We are going to discuss with various sectors of the government – Ministry of Economy, Central Bank, Civil House -, Chamber and Senate, so that, obeying the responsibility of saying that it is not to serve an interest of A or B of receiving a court order that we are going to exceptionalize a year of paying the precatório above the ceiling. No”, he added.
For Lira, overcoming the impasse could come either through a regulation, such as the one proposed by the federal government in the PEC dos Precatórios – which establishes rules for the installment of some of these expenses and faces strong resistance in the market and in parliament – or through a non- constitutional, from an agreement of procedures mediated by bodies of the Judiciary. But he didn’t go into details about how this move could take place.
“It’s not default. There will be no default. Brazil can’t stand it, doesn’t admit it, it’s not a banana republic country to go that way. But we have to deal with this matter calmly. There was a lack of control regarding these decisions. Most are from Fundeb. There is a clear possibility of compensation. And, from there, make a rule or an alternative solution that respects the spending ceiling. I don’t see the need and possibility of blowing the roof, unless this situation becomes consensual and pleasant for everyone – which is not the case”, he said.
During the panel, Lira contested speculative movements involving the fiscal scenario, defended what she classified as a responsible posture of the parliament in relation to public accounts, and said that there was an anticipation of discussions on the 2022 elections, which ended up contaminating not only the political environment. , like the economic.
“When did we give the slightest sign of establishing a break in fiscal responsibility? There wasn’t and there won’t be. We understand that the market lives on projections, speculations and theses, but it is often very important that the prospects for Brazil going forward are more connected with the reality of what has happened and is happening, and not with the possibilities of what could happen.” stated.
“We have to deal with this matter frankly, without speculation, to make it clear that, as far as it is up to the National Congress, we are not going to practice fiscal irresponsibility. Therefore, these momentary hardships, of increase in future interest rates, speculation in the dollar should be more contained, because the political clash was purposely anticipated”, he pointed out.
The congressman argued that, despite bumps, votes on relevant matters on the economic agenda are still on the agenda of the Chamber and minimized the lack of continuity of certain projects in the Federal Senate.
“Congress did not give a single iota of possibility to imply that we were going to breach the spending ceiling. On the contrary. As long as it depends on us, we will look for alternatives to maintain fiscal responsibility, which goes hand in hand with democracy. There is no democracy without fiscal responsibility – and vice versa. This binomial is and must be cultivated by those who run the country and by those who need it stable to survive in their business”, he defended.
Yesterday (23), minister Paulo Guedes (Economy), in live promoted by the Brazilian Society of Retail and Consumption, it made insinuations about the possibility of the National Congress removing the court orders from the spending ceiling.
“It may be that Congress itself decides to change, remove the precatory from the ceiling, change the Fiscal Responsibility Law. He can do whatever he wants, but not the economy”, said the minister at the time.
The PEC dos Precatórios may release R$ 33.5 billion in resources for the Federal Government Budget next year – a fundamental amount to make the Auxílio Brasil, a new transfer program to replace the Bolsa Família, feasible, based on the increase in the number of beneficiaries and average transfers.
But the government is running out of time. The new social program must be included in the final version of the Annual Budget Law approved by the National Congress, whose project must be sent by the government by August 31st.
In the political sphere, the assessment is that the government must send a text providing for regular payment of precatório and without space for Auxílio Brasil. The bill would undergo an adjustment during its processing, after a resolution to the impasse involving the expenses with court sentences.
“I understand that the government has to send the Budget respecting court decisions. Now, unlike a formal deadline for submitting the Budget, we have until the end of the year to modify it, adjust it, vote on other matters that allow for the adjustment. One thing does not make the other unfeasible,” said Lira.
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