Lira advocates an expense floor to replace the expense ceiling

Lira advocates an expense floor to replace the expense ceiling

Photo: Pablo Valadares/Chamber of Deputies

In an interview with Rádio Bandeirantes recently, Arthur Lira (photo) said that Brazil needs to create an expense floor to replace the expense ceiling. According to him, “no big, serious country in the world” has a similar budget constraint.

Because of the spending ceiling approved under Michel Temer’s administration in 2016, government spending should be limited to that of the previous year, corrected only for inflation. Therefore, to increase or create some expenditure, the government needs to cut another one of equivalent value.

According to Lira, the spending ceiling, when approved, had four pillars. They were the labor, social security, tax and administrative reforms. Two of them were made and two are still pending in the Legislative.

“In reality, what we need in Brazil is flooring. We have to discuss an expense floor budgeting policy so that we can be assured that we do not need a ceiling. No big, serious country in the world has a spending ceiling. But here, we do. We need to give internal and external signs of respect for expenses. Hence the ceiling. That the public machine has its expenses contained, that there is no excess, that there is not too much weight for taxpayers. So, at this moment, Brazil lacks and needs respect for the spending ceiling. But the future will come, we are working, so that we can implement the spending floor. If we have a floor, we won’t need a roof”, he said.

The president of the Chamber did not give details about what this floor of expenses would be.