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Brazil: Bolsonaro Slashes Minimum Wage by Executive Order

Brazil's President reduced minimum wage amidst other anti-people policies. | Photo: Reuters Brazil's President reduced minimum wage amidst other anti-people policies. | Photo: Reuters
BRAZILIA,  Jan. 3, 2019 - Brazil’s new far-right President Jair Bolsonaro lowered the minimum wage. He signed a decree that sets the minimum wage to 998 Brazilian reais (approximately US$257) from 1,006 Brazilian reais (approximately US$267) as estimated by former President Michel Temer.
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro signed an executive decree reducing the minimum wage estimated by former President Michel Temer in August.

This action will be transitory as it has to be approved by the Congress within the next 60 days.

Taking the helm of their ministries Wednesday, Bolsonaro's cabinet unveiled sweeping plans to step up privatization, toughen prison sentencing guidelines, and hand control over Indigenous land to the Agriculture Ministry.

While Bolsonaro lowered the minimum wage, his Finance Minister, Chicago Boy Paulo Guedes, said he planned to cut Brazil's tax to 20 percent of gross domestic product from 36 percent and reduce the state’s role, which means more economic liberalization and cuts in the welfare system.

Guedes also said that pensions are the pressing issue in Brazil. "If we have solid pension reform, we will get 10 years of growth," he said.

Former army captain Bolsonaro, whose election in October marked the rise of the far-right in Brazil, took office Tuesday saying he would free Latin America's largest nation from "socialism and political correctness."

Immediately after taking office, Bolsonaro signed an executive order removing policies aimed at protecting LGBTI rights in the country as part of his newly-elected government. The new Ministry of Women, Family, and Human Rights of Bolsonaro’s administration will not have the mandate to protect LGBTI community.

He also issued an executive order Wednesday making the Ministry of Agriculture responsible for deciding on lands inhabited by Indigenous peoples. The move will allow vested interests to exploit the Indigenous population and bring environmental disaster to its Amazon region.

  • Countries: Latin America
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