September 6, 2020
1. Congress maintains tax exemptions on payrolls until next year
Congress overturned President Jair Bolsonaro’s veto and maintained payroll tax exemptions through December 2021. The decision will benefit 17 sectors of the economy, which are responsible for nearly 6 million jobs. The exemption means that company contributions to employee pensions will be reduced from 20% of their gross revenue to between 1% to 4.5%. Government allies were in favor of the veto being overturned, but – in exchange for their vote – they requested R$ 1.4 billion (USD $258.8 million) of the federal budget planned for education to be used for federal construction works instead.
According to government congressional leader Eduardo Gomes, the administration also understood that there was a need to overturn the president’s veto. However, a day after Congress ruled on the matter, members of the economy team were planning to file a lawsuit with the Federal Supreme Court to have the decision overruled. According to the department, exemptions should not have been approved without defining an alternate source for funds to compensate for the amount of tax revenue lost.
Valor Econômico: Congresso garante desoneração da folha em 2021
Folha de S.Paulo: Governo planeja recorrer ao STF contra medida
O Globo: Governistas trocam apoio por verba da Educação para obras
2. Brazilian industrial production increases by 2.6% and grows for the fifth consecutive month
Industrial production in Brazil increased by 2.6% in September in comparison to August. This is the fifth consecutive month in which the sector has registered growth. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), there was a 3.4% increase when compared to September 2019.
The industry’s positive performance has compensated for the losses registered in March and April. According to IBGE, even with the increase, the sector is 15.9% below the record high registered in August 2018. From August to September 2020, industrial production grew across every economic sector.
3. Pix registers over 26 million people registered during trial period
Over 26 million people and small companies have already registered for the new online payment and transfer system Pix. Pix was created by the central bank and is currently operating on a trial basis. It uses security keys to validate transactions. The system will be available to all users, with or without a bank account, beginning November 16th.
Pix is a new way of making payments and receiving money digitally, reducing operational costs. The system performs financial transactions in seconds at any time of the day, directly competing with portable debit machines. Payments with Pix can be made via cell phones using a QR code or a quick response code. The new system has led banks to create promotions, offering up to R$ 1 million (USD $184,784) in prizes to influence account holders to choose Pix.
4. President’s son charged on suspicion of operating a criminal enterprise
Senator Flávio Bolsonaro, one of President Jair Bolsonaro’s sons, was charged with corruption by the Public Prosecutor’s Office. He is accused of operating a criminal enterprise, laundering money and embezzling public funds by demanding a portion of his employees’ salaries. According to the charges, this happened when he was a federal representative for the state of Rio de Janeiro from 2003 to 2019.
In a press statement, Flávio said that the charges are weak and have “procedural vices and errors of narrative and mathematics.” The details of the case are currently confidential. Fabrício Queiroz, who is a friend of the president and Flávio’s employee, has also been charged along with 15 of Flávio’s former employees.
Folha de S.Paulo: Filho do presidente é denunciado à Justiça
5. Fiocruz promises another vaccine against the coronavirus in February
An alternate vaccine against the coronavirus, different from the Chinese CoronaVac, could arrive in Brazil in the next few months. Fiocruz (Fundação Oswaldo Cruz) is planning to produce the first doses of the drug in January and making the product available to the public in February. The vaccine is the result of a partnership between pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
According to Fiocruz, as soon as health authorities register the drug, they will produce up to 30 million doses of the vaccine for use in the country. Trials have so far revealed that the drug is more effective when people are given two doses, but this is pending further study. Brazil has registered over 161,700 deaths due to coronavirus with 5.6 million confirmed cases of the disease since the pandemic began.
Valor Econômico: Fiocruz quer produzir 30 milhões de vacinas até fevereiro
O Globo: Acompanhe notícias sobre a pandemia
IRRD Covid-19: Veja o mapeamento de casos no Brasil e no mundo