Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is making a strong stance on getting the country’s finances in order. Among her recent actions is a plan to save more than $6.5 billion a year through cuts in unemployment and pension benefits. CCTV America’s Paulo Cabral reported this story from Sao Paulo.
Brazil's president makes cuts to social programs to save moneyBrazilian President Dilma Rousseff is making a strong stance on getting the country's finances in order. Among her recent actions is a plan to save more than $6.5 billion a year through cuts in unemployment and pension benefits. CCTV America's Paulo Cabral reported this story from Sao Paulo.
While filing for unemployment benefits is not considered lucky, for Leandro Viana the timing was fortunate indeed. Viana lost his job after working a year, and was able to just squeak in to qualify for unemployment benefits before new, stricter rules kicked in. The Brazilian government announced last month that workers will soon need to work at least 18 months to claim benefits.
“Many companies here only hire people for short periods of time, there’s a lot of turnover so many people won’t be able to get the unemployment benefit. It will be a problem for many people,” Viana said.
The government has also imposed new limits on pensions, including couple survivor payments — demanding at least two years of marriage to qualify. It’s a bid to save money and to curb fraud.
There’s no dispute among analysts that the Brazilian government needs to cut spending to put its finances in order, and that social security drains a lot of state resources. However, unions are complaining that the move will cut support for some of the people who need it the most.
“Over the years the government has been changing social security to reduce benefits. It’s true there’s fraud… but the government should have talked about all this with the society,” Carlos Ortiz, director of the Union of Retirees and Pensioners said.
Mitchell Orenstein of Northeastern Univ. discusses pension system worldwide
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