Brazilian president raises pension despite rejections

11:31, June 16, 2010      

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Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva decided on Tuesday to grant a 7.7 percent rise to the retirement benefits and pensions, to take effect in August.

Lula decided to ok the bill despite his economic team's advice to veto it, due to the impact it would have on the public accounts.

"I will do what I think is good for Brazil, and for the retired," he said, adding that he would not "leave skeletons" for the next administration.

According to Finance Minister Guido Mantega, who announced the decision, the measure will have an impact of 1.6 billion reais (893 million U.S. dollars) in Brazil's public accounts this year. In order to maintain the public accounts' balance, the president authorized several budget cuts.

"Lula allowed us to make the necessary cuts, which will compensate the 7.7 percent," he said.

The Finance Minister, who defended the veto, did not consider the granting of the raise a defeat of the economic team.

"To me, the most important thing is to fulfill the fiscal target, maintain the fiscal balance even in an electoral year," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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