Bolsonaro talks about readjustment for servers in 2023, but law prevents promise

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Despite President Jair Bolsonaro trying to contain the revolt of federal servants with the signaling of a salary readjustment in 2023, he has no way of guaranteeing to the categories in protest the fulfillment of this promise.

That’s because an amendment to the Fiscal Responsibility Law (LRF) made during his own government prohibits any act that results in an increase in personnel expenses after the end of a term – even if the incumbent may be reelected.

“I recognize the work of the servers, that they deserve a readjustment. There is no slack in the Budget for the current year. I talked to the staff about the Budget for next year. I know it’s still a long way off, but, on the occasion of the making of the same, obviously that the servers will be contemplated with the salary readjustment deserved”, said Bolsonaro on Wednesday, 19, in an interview with Rádio Jovem Pan.

The most Bolsonaro could do to indicate commitment to this promise would be to reserve in the 2023 Annual Budget Law Project (PLOA) a reasonable space to contemplate servers, without allocating resources to any category.

The budget piece must be sent by the government to Congress by August 31 – already at the height of the electoral dispute. But negotiation and voting on the proposal will only take place at the end of the year, with the outcome of the polls defined.

In Congress, parliamentarians who were at the forefront of approving the 2022 Budget assess that Bolsonaro tried to calm the spirits of civil servants who are pressing for a readjustment after the nod to the police.

“The president cannot propose this, because the 2023 Budget will be guided by the next government. The House and Senate will not approve anything that complicates the next term, which could be him (Bolsonaro). He can even forward it, but he will have to find a breach in the budget and in the law. It cannot increase before or after, there is a deadline”, said deputy Hildo Rocha (MDB-MA), who defends the review to the police this year.

“It’s not an increase, it’s a restructuring and it’s necessary. He cannot veto that part.”

But even this reserve of budget space for 2023 will be very difficult to move forward.

For 2022, even with more than BRL 100 billion in fiscal space opened up by the maneuvers included in the PEC dos Precatórios, Bolsonaro managed only BRL 1.7 billion to make a nod to the police categories linked to the federal government.

To serve a larger set of servers, any president-elect this year will have to cut back on other items.

Calculations by the Ministry of Economy indicated last year that a linear adjustment of 5% for civil servants would cost R$ 15 billion annually in new permanent expenses.

But now the movement of the elite of civil servants is already talking about putting their foot down for a full correction of inflation since 2017 – a period in which the IPCA accumulated a high of 28.15%.

To achieve a full replacement of salaries, R$ 84.5 billion would be needed, or almost the entire amount of Auxílio Brasil, budgeted at R$ 89.1 billion this year.

“There is no room for an expense of this magnitude. I calculate that, for each percentage point of readjustment for all civil servants, the expense would increase by R$3 billion to R$4 billion in annualized terms. Also, it has a nice tie. The president’s statements are a promise of land on the moon”, criticized the executive director of the Independent Fiscal Institution (IFI) of the Senate, Felipe Salto.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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