By Senabri Silvestre
SANTO DOMINGO, Dom. Rep. (AA) – Brazilian lawmakers on Thursday approved a salary increase of between 16 and 41 percent for government, executive and judicial workers.
The measure that would not apply to elected officials, needs to be confirmed by the Upper House of Congress and will cost approximately 58,000 billion reales ($16,500 million) until 2019, according to local media.
Interim President Michel Temer supported the proposal despite a deep economic crisis facing the biggest South American country that has been in recession since 2015. The government last week estimated last week that it has a budget deficit of $47 billion and signaled cuts to spending and social programs.
"It is an indispensable support for the Executive Branch, not only because it is compatible with its activities, but it reveals the government integration between the executive and the legislature,” Temer said during a ceremony to present the country’s new Transportation Minister Torquato Jardim.
Planning Minister Dyogo Henrique de Oliveira said the adjustment was already alloted in the 2016 budget, incorporated in the primary outcome of the estimate by the government and approved by Congress.
The cost should not increase more than inflation from year to year, according to Dyogo.
Brazil's GDP shrank 5.4 percent in the first quarter of the 2014. It is the eighth consecutive quarterly decline for economy that has already contracted 4.7 percent during the past 12 months – it’s highest recorded annual contraction since 1996. the country’s statistics agency said Wednesday.