Freixo changes on drugs and renegotiation of tax regime – 08/17/2022 – Poder

Federal deputy Marcelo Freixo (PSB), candidate for governor of Rio de Janeiro, declared this Wednesday (17) to have changed his position on the legalization of drugs. Days earlier, he had also removed a section from his government plan in which he advocated renegotiating the Tax Recovery Regime (RRF) with the Federal Government.

The changes, mainly in relation to drugs, mark the turn to the center initiated by the candidate in June of last year, when he exchanged the PSOL for the PSB in order to build his candidacy.

The new position on drugs was given on Saturday promoted by the program Balanço Geral, on TV Record. “I am against anything that divides Brazilian society today. I am not in favor. I think we need to create jobs, guarantee health and carry out preventive policing”, said Freixo.

The candidate then started to defend an efficient police force and investments in public security.

Asked, once again, directly on the subject, he replied: “No. I am no longer in favor of [da liberação da maconha]. I don’t think that will, at this moment, help us in Brazil. What we need is to advance health policies and police efficiency.”

The defense of drug liberation is a historical agenda for Freixo. The deputy’s main argument has always been the fact that prohibition encourages illegal trafficking and the so-called “war on drugs”, generating conflicts between police and criminals and victimizing, mainly, young blacks and poor people.

“Today, who we are arresting, as a result of the logic of fighting drugs, are poor young black people from the periphery of the favela. In fact, people will continue to consume marijuana. What we have to decide is who will control it. it’s going to be the state or the arms market, war and death,” he told federal deputy Carla Zambelli (PL-SP), in a video of a debate on the legalization of marijuana.

The change in position is a nod to the evangelical electorate, with a strong presence in Rio de Janeiro, which he has been trying to get closer to. Freixo was already trying to show moderation in other topics dear to his banners, such as public safety. Such as Sheet showed in April, he also reduced the frequency with which he criticizes police actions in the state on his social media.

In the economic area, the PSB candidate also signaled concern about reaffirming his shift to the center. He withdrew from his government program a section in which he advocated renegotiating the Tax Recovery Regime (RRF) with the Union.

The revision was pointed out, in the first version of the document, as a condition for the state to recover its investment capacity. The new version, however, excluded the mention of the measure. Freixo stated that the change was made “so as not to create the false idea that we will not have fiscal responsibility”.

“Of course, we will have full fiscal responsibility and respect all contracts. What we are arguing is that fiscal responsibility has to be accompanied by social responsibility. Rio cannot fail to grow. It cannot fail to bring investment. fiscal year with a perspective of growth, of resumption of an economic cycle”, he told Sheet.

The economic model to be adopted in the state is another delicate issue in the campaign of the PSB candidate, who seeks to detach himself from the image of a leftist radical created after 16 years in the PSOL.

The construction of the government program relied on names identified with the liberal agenda, such as economist Armínio Fraga and lawyer Marcelo Trindade, a former member of Novo. These names have been used by the candidate to show commitment to fiscal responsibility.

The original document was released on August 8 and appears in the candidacy register at the TSE (Superior Electoral Court). At the time, Freixo said that it was a plan under construction, even awaiting contributions from the PSDB, who nominated councilor Cesar Maia (PSDB) as deputy of the ticket.

The first version of the program stated: “It will be necessary to renegotiate the Fiscal Regime and ensure that the state of Rio de Janeiro regains its investment capacity”. The new one, released on Thursday (11), removed the initial section: “It will be necessary to ensure that the state of Rio de Janeiro resumes its investment capacity”.

The Tax Recovery Regime was created in 2017, and Rio de Janeiro was the only participant in the first phase of the initiative. It represented a relief in the state’s bills, which faced delays in paying civil servants’ salaries. In July, Governor Cláudio Castro (PL), candidate for reelection, signed the definitive adhesion of the state to the plan, until 2031, after an impasse that reached the STF (Supreme Federal Court).

Starting this month, the state needs to transfer R$300 million monthly to the National Treasury in order to start paying the state’s R$148.1 billion debt with the Union. The RRF determines that the installments will increase gradually until the end of the agreement, in 2031.

Freixo now states that the renegotiation mentioned in the first version referred to the state’s demands sent to the Supervisory Board to authorize, for example, public tenders or salary readjustments. “In the RRF itself, the renegotiation is reopened every year. It is an annual assessment. It is the very nature of the tax regime”, said the deputy.

“It’s no use not paying this debt now, and it will become even more unpayable if it impedes growth. The model for Rio’s fiscal recovery cannot prevent economic growth and social recovery. This was badly handled by the current government, both state and We will have a new federal and state government, and it is natural that another standard of debt payment and relationship will be established.”

About Abhishek Pratap

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