Smaller emergency aid starts to be paid amid worsening pandemic – 04/04/2021 – Market

After a three-month vacuum without transfers, this week the federal government initiates payments for the new round of emergency aid. Resumed in the most acute phase of the pandemic, with records of deaths and advances in restrictive measures in cities, this year’s program will release the equivalent of 15% of assistance from 2020.

Deposits to beneficiaries will be made from Tuesday (6) for those born in January and will follow the order of their birth dates. For Bolsa Família recipients, the original calendar of the social program will be maintained, with payments beginning on April 16.

A new round of aid in 2021 was not on the government’s roadmap. The initial plan of the economic team foresaw a gradual reduction of the parcels, following the signs of weakening of the pandemic. The program would end in December and be linked to a reformulated and more robust Bolsa Família.

The veto target of President Jair Bolsonaro (without a party), the new social program ended in the drawer and 2021 started without any kind of emergency aid to informal workers.

The new round came into negotiation only after a strong advance of the second wave of the pandemic and increased pressure from parliamentarians on the government.

Approved together with a package that defines fiscal adjustment measures for future crises, the new assistance will have a maximum cost of R $ 44 billion. In 2020, R $ 322 billion was authorized for this purpose, and R $ 293 billion was effectively spent.

Last year, the program paid five installments of R $ 600 and a further four installments of R $ 300 – women heads of families received double.

The government spent an average of R $ 46.9 billion per month in the first phase of the program in 2020. When the share dropped to R $ 300, the monthly cost went to R $ 15.9 billion. The new round has an estimated cost of R $ 11 billion per month.

The program has shrunk. It has a smaller budget, audience and value. There will be four plots that vary depending on family background. The standard benefit will be R $ 250. People who live alone will receive R $ 150 per month – a limitation that did not exist in 2020.

For female heads of household, the amount will be R $ 375 – 50% higher than the basic benefit.

In April 2020, the program started with around 68 million eligible people. In the stage with payments of R $ 300, starting in September, the average public was 51 million people. Now, the government expects to serve up to 45.6 million people.

Other criteria were also more restricted. While the 2020 aid was paid to up to two members of each family, the rule was limited this year to one person per household.

To receive the benefit, it is not necessary to make any type of order or registration in the government systems. The transfers will take into account the list of beneficiaries who were served in December last year. This means that people who have fallen into a situation of vulnerability this year will not be entitled to receive aid.

The shrinking of assistance, created to help vulnerable sections of the population during the health crisis, did not directly accompany the movements of the pandemic.

When payments started in April, death records for Covid-19 were generally below 300 per day. The renewal of the R $ 600 installments began to be paid when the moving average of daily deaths was 971.

In September, the month that the value of the parcel fell by half, the daily average of deaths was slightly lower, at 859. Now, the new round, even leaner, will start to be paid when the country has exceeded the daily average of 3,000. killed a day.

Data from the Ministry of Citizenship show that emergency aid in 2020 has benefited around 38 million women and 30 million men.

In terms of age, approximately 30 million beneficiaries were up to 34 years old. Another 23 million were aged between 35 and 49 years. There were 15 million people over 50 years old.

The folder informed that the details of the public served by the 2021 program are still being prepared.

The new program has installments closer to the amounts paid by Bolsa Família. The permanent social program has an average benefit of R $ 190.

Since the first elaboration of the aid, last year, the economic team defended that the transfers should be in values ​​similar to those of Bolsa Família. The original version of the aid, presented in March 2020 by the Ministry of Economy, provided for installments of R $ 200.

Under pressure from Congress, which considered the amount insufficient, the initial proposal was increased to R $ 500 and, afterwards, Bolsonaro authorized the amount of R $ 600.

The law that defines the 2021 aid established that the four installments may be extended, as long as there is space in the Budget. The economic team does not work with this scenario at the moment.

In preparation for the end of assistance, Guedes’ team intends to insist on the reformulation of Bolsa Família. The plan is to overcome Bolsonaro’s resistance and unify existing actions today in a new program, with larger shares and a larger audience.

One of the points defended by Guedes is the merger of the salary bonus, a kind of 14th paid to formal workers with remuneration of up to two minimum wages. Last year, the president vetoed the proposal and said that he does not accept taking from the poor to give to the poor.

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