Experimental feature

Listen to this article

00:00
00:00
Experimental feature
or

Brazil’s controversial pension reform proposal cleared a key congressional committee on Wednesday as President Michel Temer seeks to push through one of the most ambitious reform packages in decades, aimed at plugging a yawning budget deficit amid the worst recession on record for Latin America’s largest economy.

The reform gathered 23 votes in the 37-member lower house committee, after rapporteur Arthur Maia withdrew a last-minute addition of benefits for prison guards.

Investors are betting the pension overhaul would put Brazil’s finances on a straighter path amid a budget gap that stands at over 9 per cent of gross domestic product. But it is a hot potato for many lawmakers, as opinion polls show a majority Brazilians oppose it – a general strike last Friday was spurred by Mr Temer’s reforms programme.

The plan to make Brazilians work longer by instituting new universal retirement ages – 62 for women and 65 for men – is now expected to be debated by the full house in the second half of May. If it is finally approved by at least two-thirds of votes on the floor of the lower house, it should then be passed by the Senate later this year.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
myFT

Follow the topics mentioned in this article

Follow the authors of this article

Comments have not been enabled for this article.