BRASILIA – Minister Luiz Fux, president of the Supreme Federal Court (STF), said this Thursday (26), that he was approached by the National Congress for the National Council of Justice (CNJ) to mediate on the payment of court orders of the 2022 Budget.
“We were approached by the Legislative Power to build this understanding, which reinforces that the institutions are talking,” said the magistrate.
Fux participated in the panel “Democracy and legal security: the path of development”, by Expert XP 2021. Watch the highlights in the video above.
The court orders, which are amounts owed by the federal government after a final decision in court, should reach the mark of R$89 billion next year – a value much higher than expected by the economic team and which could compromise the execution of public policies.
According to Fux, the solution, which is still in the “embryonic” phase, would be the issue of a resolution by the CNJ, an agency also chaired by him, so that there is a limitation on the expenses with the payment of court orders.
The resolution, which should be built in agreement with the parliament, would establish rules applicable to the Union, states and municipalities. In the case of the federal government, this would mean the payment of BRL 50 billion still in 2022 and the payment of the remaining BRL 39 billion in installments.
In practice, the movement can open up budget space for the creation of Auxílio Brasil – a new income transfer program that the government intends to launch to replace Bolsa Família, increasing the number of beneficiaries and the average monthly amount of transfers.
During the panel, Fux recalled that there is a principle of reasonableness to prevent the Union from going “bankrupt”. On the other hand, he argued that there is no more space for installments for long periods.
“We’ve already seen this film of constitutional amendments that provide for an installment payment ad infinitum and which are, therefore, declared unconstitutional, generating a very large legal uncertainty in the market and increasing the risk of Brazil”, he said.
“A country that does not fulfill its commitments is frowned upon from an international point of view,” he added.
The magistrate stressed that the Supreme Court is not interested in “passing over” the National Congress, as there is also the possibility of a Constitutional Amendment Proposal (PEC), sent by the government itself at the beginning of the month, to regulate the issue.
“We need to verify if this solution can be included in a constitutional amendment, which would ensure a path of extreme legality”, he assessed.
He also highlighted the care for there to be no questioning about the constitutionality of any decision by the CNJ. “There is no way there can be a questioning of the prior constitutionality of a norm. But we are building the paths to avoid this”, he added.
Central Bank Autonomy
Fux also defended, as a citizen, the autonomy of the Central Bank – approved by the National Congress and which ended up in the Federal Supreme Court following challenges made by opposition parties.
“We see that developed countries, which adopt this policy of a Central Bank uncoupled from the government, are celebrated for this independence. One example is the US Federal Reserve,” he said.
One of the points under consideration in court is whether there was an “origin defect” in the proposal. The petitioners allege that the approved text would have to be the initiative of the federal government.
Proponents of the measure, on the other hand, argue that Bolsonaro submitted a similar bill and that presidential sanction is also sufficient to guarantee the executive branch’s approval.
“When the Executive’s project was submitted, there was already a Congress project in progress. They were united and the president signed the approved project. There are those who understand that the sanction makes up for the vice of initiative and others who believe the opposite”, explained Fux.
For the minister, the Judiciary Branch needs to analyze what is best for the country. According to him, the Federal Constitution itself advocates free initiative, free competition and reduced State intervention in the economy.
“The Central Bank is a State institution, not a government one. It transcends government interests and its independence represents a major advance in Brazil’s economic and monetary policy”, he defended.
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