How much has the Covid-19 pandemic cost federal coffers

| Photo: Fernando Frazão / Agência Brasil

The federal government has spent 633.4 billion reais to fight the pandemic since 2020, according to the last update of the monitoring of the Union’s spending to fight against Covid-19, carried out on December 16, 2021.

Measures to cope with the economic crisis, such as the disbursement of emergency aid, have been the main destination of resources. Actions to save the economy, help businesses and citizens have reached R $ 552.8 billion since the start of the pandemic, representing 87% of Union spending to fight the coronavirus.

Most of these resources to tackle the economic crisis were spent in 2020, when payments totaled R $ 479.1 billion. In 2021, the amount was R $ 73.7 billion, to which were added emergency aid, the emergency allowance for employment and income maintenance and the fund quotas guaranteeing operations and credit.

As responsible for emergency aid, the Ministry of Citizenship was the one that concentrated the most resources for actions to fight the pandemic (R $ 357.3 billion in two years), followed by the Economy (R $ 191.4 billion) and Health (R $ 72.9 billion).

Disbursements with the pandemic were mainly responsible for the rise in government debt. Between February 2020 and 2021, the gross debt of the Brazilian public sector – in the sum of the Union, States and municipalities – rose from 5,611 trillion BRL to 6,744 trillion BRL, an increase of 1,133,000 billion BRL in just 12 months. Relative to the size of the Brazilian economy, debt has grown from 75.3% of GDP to 89% of GDP during the same period.

In order of highest spending for minors, the government disbursed with:

In total, payments reached R $ 353.6 billion over the two years; BRL 293.11 billion were transferred in 2020 and BRL 60.49 billion in 2021. Launched in mid-2020, the allocation had its last payment in October 2021.

Financial assistance to states, municipalities and the Federal District

Provided for in a complementary law approved by Congress to mitigate the impacts of the loss of income caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the transfers amounted to 78.25 billion reais, concentrated in the year 2020.

Quotas of operations and credit guarantee funds

This destination, provisionally established to facilitate access to credit for small and medium-sized enterprises, received 63.1 billion reais: 58.1 billion reais in 2020, 5 billion reais in 2021.

Additional spending from the Ministry of Health and other portfolios

The extras required by the ministries amounted to 62.1 billion reais. The year 2020 concentrated 42.7 billion reais of these transfers and 19.4 billion reais took place in 2021.

Emergency Employment and Income Maintenance Benefit

The measure which allowed the suspension of employment contracts and the reduction of working hours and wages in a proportional manner accounted for R $ 41.2 billion in expenditure over the period. There were BRL 33.5 billion in 2020 and BRL 7.7 billion in 2021.

Procurement of vaccines and supplies for prevention and control

The only case where the vast majority of resources to fight Covid-19 were used in 2021: BRL 16.2 billion out of a total of BRL 18.4 billion between the two years (with BRL 2.22 billion in 2020).

Funding for payroll payment

Spending on providing finance so companies can pay employee salaries was limited to 2020, at 6.8 billion reais.

Emergency credit access program – Maquininhas

Also concentrated in the first year of the pandemic, with 5 billion reais.

Financing of tourism infrastructure

The segment received BRL 3.1 billion in 2020 and BRL 530 million in 2021, for a total of approximately BRL 3.6 billion.

Transfer to the energy development account (CDE)

Measure which became known as the Covid-Account. The financial deal was developed by the federal government to dilute the readjustment of energy tariffs to consumers and provide liquidity to distributors. It was adopted in 2020, with expenditure of 900 million reais.

Extension of the Bolsa Familia

Limited to the year 2020, it represented R $ 370 million of the total expenditure to deal with the health crisis caused by the Covid-19.

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