| Photo: Michel Jesus / Chamber of Deputies
House Speaker Arthur Lira (PP-AL) has indicated that his priorities for the second semester in charge of the house are fiscal, political and administrative reforms, as well as the privatization of Correios. The change to the rules for collecting income tax can be voted on by MPs this week, when lawmakers return from vacation, according to Lira. The information was disclosed by him in a post on social media.
The mayor’s agenda is initially in line with that of the Planalto Palace. The assessment is made by government deputies who spoke to Gazeta do Povo. “The priorities are fully in line with what the Jair Bolsonaro government has proposed with Brazil since the start of the mandate,” said Carlos Jordy (PSL-RJ). “This is more or less in line with what we are voting for and that is exactly what the government and Brazil need,” José Medeiros (Podemos-MT), one of Bolsonaro’s vice-presidents, told bedroom.
The convergences try to go beyond elements which would indicate a distance between the Commander of the Chamber and the President of the Republic. Lira brought to the public debate, a few weeks ago, the proposal of semi-presidentialism – a system which establishes the figure of the Prime Minister and, by extension, withdraws powers from the President of the Republic. The Alagoas man claimed that the proposal was not his own, that the change would only be valid from 2026 and that one of his main directives as head of the House was to avoid sleep problems.
There was also the nebulous incident involving Lira, Defense Minister Braga Netto, and an alleged threat to the 2022 elections through an intermediary that the government would not agree to holding an election if the printed vote was not implemented. Lira and Netto denied the episode, but “Estadão” kept the report and the Speaker of the House was forced to respond to possible threats against democracy.
It is in Lira’s favor that her administration is approved by the members of Pocket. Government-aligned deputies pitted the current Speaker of the House against his predecessor, Rodrigo Maia (no RJ party), who was seen as a “saboteur” and a “prime minister” in the absence of the government. “Lira’s administration involves little talk and a lot of work,” Medeiros said.
“I think President Arthur Lira’s tenure has been very much in line with what the government is proposing. I think he has managed well, which has advanced priority programs for Brazil’s economic development and the creation of ‘jobs, ”Jordy added.
Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) draws a very different picture. In an interview with Rádio Difusora de Goiás last Tuesday (27), he said he considered Bolsonaro a “Queen of England” and that the real command of the country would be in the hands of Lira and the Minister of Economy Paulo Guedes.
Is there a climate for reform?
The success of the approval of certain points of the liberal agenda of the Bolsonaro government and of Minister Paulo Guedes gives confidence to the sectors of the government to push forward other proposals also of a privatizing nature, such as the privatization of Correios and the administrative reform. . The parliamentarians of the Center also identify the possibility of voting on the themes.
“The privatization of Correios is one of the topics most likely to be tackled in a shorter time frame,” said House MDB leader Isnaldo Bulhões (AL). “Brazil is calling for certain reforms, like the administrative one, which can reduce the costs of the state,” said Citizenship leader Alex Manente (SP).
As for the tax, although both MPs and Senators agree on the need to change the tax system, there is an impasse around the proposal that will be put to the vote.
Lira has decided, in agreement with the government, to abandon broader reforms. Instead, he opted for two projects – one focused on changing income tax rules and the other that creates the Goods and Services Contribution (CBS), a rate to unify four taxes.
“I do not recognize this reform which is in progress. What is in progress are projects, but it itself is no longer in progress. We no longer have this broader discussion,” Bulhoes criticized. A member of her party, Baleia Rossi (SP), was the author of a reform project which had the sympathy of many parliamentarians and came to present herself with a certain “favoritism” to be put into practice, which did not occur. not materialized.
Suggestions for changing the income tax table have displeased sectors that go beyond formal opposition to government. Recently, a group of entities representing states and municipalities called for the rejection of the initiative, in the form of the substitute presented by MP Celso Sabino (PSDB-PA).
According to them, the changes will weaken the funds of the State Participation Fund (FPE) and the Municipal Participation Fund (FPM) by 27.4 billion reais, fundamental funds for the management of town halls and state governments. Other institutions, such as the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) and the National Confederation of Services (CNS), have also taken a stand against the initiative.