Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Brazil’s legislature plays Santa for itself

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on December 16, 2010

by Andrew Downie for Financial Times – Beyond Brics, December 15th, 2010.

Christmas came early for Brazil’s lawmakers this Wednesday. With an efficiency (and a brass neck) rarely seen in Brasília, the country’s deputies and senators awarded themselves a 62 per cent pay increase. Ho ho ho.

No matter that the country’s finance minister (he got a 148 per cent increase) last week said belts must be tightened or that the outgoing president warned the incoming president she will have to trim the budget (she saw her pay packet fatten by 134 per cent).

It’s a free-for-all in the capital as the members of the country’s most loathed institution filled their stockings and their pockets.

“It’s absurd,” said Gil Castello Branco, the secretary general of Contas Abertas, an NGO that monitors public spending. “The image of the legislature could hardly be worse exactly because of decision like this one, done purely out of self interest.” (continue reading… )



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