After the Ibovespa closed slightly down 0.16% in its regular trading session, the index futures contract maturing in August strongly accelerated post-market losses, amid news that emerged after 17:00 Brasília) that increased the perception of fiscal risk in the market.
The Ibovespa futures closed down 1.43%, at 100,825 points, at 18:00 (Brasília time). The dollar futures maturing in July closed with a strong advance of 1.26%, at R$ 5.209. The commercial dollar closed this Wednesday’s session with gains of 0.45%, at R$5.17.
The reasons for the sharp deterioration were news that came out in the aftermarket that the government is studying raising the voucher for truck drivers to R$1,000, compared to a previous indication of a voucher of R$400 (which received criticism from the segment). Yesterday, one of the main leaders of the 2018 truck drivers’ strike, Wallace Landin, known as “Chorão”, called the R$400 aid “alms”.
Reuters points out that, under pressure to endorse the measures articulated by Congress and the Planalto Palace to create truck driver assistance and expand the gas voucher to low-income families this election year, the Ministry of Economy is evaluating the cost of the initiatives and works to limit the impact on public coffers.
As sources pointed out to Reuters, the plan provides for the benefits to be included in the Proposed Amendment to the Constitution (PEC) that is being processed in the Legislature to reduce taxation on fuels. The sources heard by the newspaper point out that an exception to the spending ceiling will be created so that these expenses are not accounted for in the tax rule, an idea that was previously opposed by the economic team.
The sources stated that the final format of the measures is not yet defined. One of them added that the Ministry of Economy will not take care of the formulation of the benefits and that the elaboration is being done by Congress.
One of the hypotheses mentioned for the truck driver voucher, for example, foresees an expense of R$ 3 billion if the value of the benefit remains at R$ 600 per month. Another source stated that the monthly benefit of BRL 1,000 would fit in the Budget if it were paid to 600,000 truck drivers, but they consider that this is not a hypothesis put forward by the economic team.
One of the authorities said that the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, had set limits on the release of these funds. According to this person, the ceilings would be BRL 4 billion for truck drivers and BRL 2 billion for gas assistance. In this case, the total cost of the package, added to the tax cuts, would be approximately R$ 52 billion.
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