- False: It is false that a survey revealed that President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) stole BRL 400 billion from public coffers, as a woman claims in a video published on TikTok. The same figure was mentioned by Henrique Meirelles, president of the Central Bank in the Lula government and finance minister in the Temer government, when talking about a projection of the hole in the budget that the current head of the Executive will leave for 2023.
where it was published: TikTok and Instagram.
Conclusion of Comprova: It is false that President Bolsonaro stole R$400 billion from public coffers. A content creator misinforms when she says that, “according to a survey”, the Chief Executive would have stolen this amount. The figure she refers to was mentioned by Henrique Meirelles in an interview with GloboNews on October 24, when he was assessing the budget gap that will be left by the current government.
Falsefor Comprova, is content that was invented or that has been edited to change its original meaning and deliberately disseminated to spread falsehood.
publication reach: Comprova investigates suspicious content with greater reach on social networks. As of November 14, the video had 1.5 million views on TikTok, 114.9 thousand likes and more than 58.3 thousand shares.
What the person responsible for the publication says: We contacted Viliane Estrela, responsible for the video, by email, but she had not responded until the publication of this verification. It was not possible to contact her through TikTok, as this social network only allows the exchange of messages between profiles that follow each other.
How do we check: The first step was to search Google for the words “Bolsonaro”, “stole” and “R$ 400 billion”. There was no result related to the theft of this amount and the current president of Brazil. The search returned articles that echoed the speech of Henrique Meirelles (in an interview with GloboNews, on October 24), on a shortfall of that amount, like those of Forum Magazine and Brazil 247🇧🇷 Then, in the sequence, we searched for “Henrique Meirelles”, “rombo” and “R$ 400 billion”, and we obtained the previous publications as a result, as well as an article from the Brazilian Mail about the subject.
We also checked Henrique Meirelles’ Twitter. And, finally, we got in touch with the press office of the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), asking for an economist as a source to explain the values mentioned by the former president of the Central Bank. The nominee was Professor Marco Antônio Rocha, from the Institute of Economics.
The analysis of Henrique Meirelles
On October 24, the former president of the Central Bank wrote on his Twitter account: “One of the first missions that the next leader of the country will have to face in 2023 will be to assess the real size of the budget gap that awaits him”. He then explains his reasoning and, in one of the tweets, repeats what he had said in the television interview: “In my assessment, this gap is much closer to BRL 400 billion, as estimated by independent entities, than to BRL 150 billion that the current government is calculating”. A few days later, the statement spawned posts on Twitter with the hashtag “Jair broke Brazil”. The term was the most mentioned in posts made throughout the afternoon of November 4 on the platform.
kamikaze PEC and the default of precatories
When Henrique Meirelles mentioned, on Twitterthe approximate gap of BRL 400 billion, also reported that to better measure the numbers it is necessary to assess the effects of measures that violated the fiscal ceiling in the current government, such as the PEC Kamikaze it’s the default of precatories🇧🇷
The PEC created a state of emergency and circumvented electoral legislation, so that the government could exceed the spending ceiling limit and grant financial benefits in a presidential election year. THE PEC Kamikaze (PEC 1) replaced the PEC on Fuels (PEC 16). The latter had the objective of creating subsidies to lower the price of gasoline and impacted other actions involving, for example, the gas voucher. With more scope, including those that existed in PEC 16 (on fuel), PEC 1 was created to unlock social programs and increase the granting of benefits.
PEC 1 was articulated to guarantee program value adjustments until December 2022. It is with it that the government is able to pay, among other social benefits, the Auxílio Brasil of R$ 600, the truck driver grant of R$ 1 thousand and the monthly taxi driver allowance of R$ 200 until the end of the year. In addition, the proposal also included the gas voucher with double the value of R$ 120 every two months.
Over the default of precatoriesalso mentioned by Meirelles, is the PEC that allowed the payment of precatories to be paid in installments from 2022. The proposal also changed the spending cap rule.
Precatorios are Union debts involving individuals, legal entities, states and municipalities recognized in final court decisions. They are no longer eligible for funding and must be paid for by the government.
At the time when the PEC of Precatories was enacted in December 2021the government announced that it managed to make room for more than R$ 106 billion in the budget to pay the Brazil Aid, until then R$ 400.
Unraveling the BRL 400 billion
Professor at the Institute of Economics at the University of Campinas (Unicamp), Marco Antônio Rocha explains that the figures quoted by Meirelles refer to some projections about existing “holes” and expenses that were not budgeted in the 2023 Budget Law. an exact figure. It all depends on what is taken into account, so the amount can range from R$ 150 billion, according to the government’s own estimates, to very high numbers, such as the R$ 400 billion set by the former president of the Central Bank. “This is not an exact number, it depends on what you consider a priority, in relation to budget allocations that would be necessary, fundamental for the State to function. But it also includes public policies, funding, investment and other expenses that can be postponed, of course with some damage to the population”, says Rocha.
According to him, the size of this calculation depends a lot on what are considered to be holes in the 2023 budget left by the Bolsonaro government. “If only Auxílio Brasil, funds such as Farmácia Popular, funds for policies that are rights, then the figure is a little lower. If it includes works that will be paralyzed, recovery of costing funds, among others, this number can even reach a value greater than R$ 400 billion”, says Marco Antônio Rocha.
The values will be known with the work of the transition team and the budget gap should receive a complement that will also depend on the political negotiation made by the future government. “Even the figure did not reach R$ 400 billion, it can be said that the holes in the 2023 budget left by the Bolsonaro government were quite high, in the range of a few hundred billion”, emphasizes the Unicamp professor. “It depends on the calculation you make and how you look at the problem, including issues that are campaign promises, possibly from the future government, which also need budgetary complementation. But, not including future campaign promises, the figure is already approaching R$ 400 billion, a few hundred billion.”
What can be considered “blunt” in public accounts
“The government doesn’t have a safe where it withdraws money and, suddenly, the money disappears. All expenses must be budgeted and negotiated with Congress. When Bolsonaro passes a budget law that falls far short of what is needed, he pushes the negotiation to the other government. And the other government will have to negotiate this budget space”, explains the professor at Unicamp’s Institute of Economics, Marco Antônio Rocha. “The size of the hole depends, now, on how much Lula’s administration is willing to negotiate in relation to this budget space: R$ 150 billion, or, including all these issues, a very high figure”, he adds.
“This means that what the new government will take now in terms of political negotiation, will need to return next year, for example, in the form of extraordinary credit and other ways of negotiating budget complementation”, highlights the Unicamp economist. “It all depends on how you look at the politics involved in this agreement. There is a very large political dimension to this process and how the idea of the gap and its size is interpreted”, recalls Marco Antônio Rocha. This without losing sight of the fact that many expenses related to the funding of public institutions, such as universities, the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra) and the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), are already committed within the budget. . And all this requires recomposition. “If you start asking all the questions, everything that was dismantled in budgetary terms by the Bolsonaro government, you reach a very high figure. Obviously, the government does not need to negotiate all of this in one fell swoop, but that is what defines whether the amount is BRL 200 billion, BRL 400 billion or even a higher figure.”
why do we investigate: Comprova checks suspicious content that has gone viral on social media about the Covid-19 pandemic, federal government public policies and presidential elections. In this verification, the verified video induces those who access it to an understanding that President Jair Bolsonaro stole R$ 400 billion from Brazil’s public coffers. Material like this deceives the population and contributes to the growth of misinformation.
Other checks on the topic: Regarding President Bolsonaro, Comprova has already carried out checks such as the content verified as false and that concluded that the president did not say that he will end with 13th and overtime, contrary to what the video claimed. Also regarding Bolsonaro, another investigation concluded that a Video was edited to look like Bolsonaro supports dating girls of 10 years. Recently, Comprova also analyzed and concluded that invented material alleged official statement from Petrobras confirming that fuel prices were frozen until October 30th.
Investigated Portal Norte, Folha de S.Paulo and Estado de Minas. Verified by NSC Comunicação, Estadão, Correio, Metrópoles and A Gazeta.
Source: CNN Brasil
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