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Health is losing space in the parliamentary amendments

Health has lost space in parliamentary amendments, resources are sealed by lawmakers and senators in the federal budget, despite the COVID-19 pandemic of all the amendments approved in 2021, 37% have gone to health, a practical level comparable to the level recorded. Last year (36%), when the budget was prepared before the novel coronavirus crisis. In direct investments, the sector received only 14% of the adjustments, while the work of the Ministry of Regional Development accounted for 40%.

The numbers show parliamentarians ’strategy to control a larger share of the federal budget and allocate resources to businesses and projects of electoral importance in their strongholds in states and municipalities.

In fact, the amount allocated to parliamentary amendments increased compared to previous years, but he did not get the same effort to increase funds for other areas. The COVID-19 pandemic is progressing in the country with higher rates of infection and death compared to 2020.

This year, parliamentarians stamped a total of R $ 47.4 billion on the amendments, in addition to the resources placed on the executive branch’s umbrella. President Jair Bolsonaro is vetoing a portion of this money, but he is under pressure from the Congressional summit to fully approve what has been approved in the House and Senate.

The amount is reserved specifically for nominations from Representatives and Senators, according to the destination chosen by the members of Congress. Transportation is negotiated by the government throughout the year in exchange for support in Congress.

Payment is compulsory, which puts pressure on the executive authority in the scenario of the financial crisis, but the moment of release depends on the ministries ’decision, which puts this money at the center of political negotiations for votes in the Legislative Council.

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Of the total volume of adjustments approved for 2021, R $ 17.5 billion goes to health. These are resources for refurbishing hospitals, maintaining health centers, and purchasing equipment for intensive care units (ICUs), for example.

The Ministry of Regional Development (MDR), led by Rogiero Marinho and the election fair of Bolsonaro, has received R $ 14.5 billion and will be able to use the funds for infrastructure, sanitation and irrigation projects, among other things. The total amount of adjustments earmarked for direct investments in these areas, that is, regardless of the resources allocated to estimating costs, had the opposite remedy: the Ministry of Sustainable Development received 13.3 billion Rials and left health with 2.3 billion Rials.

‘Work health’

Since last year, Congress has ensured a specific reserve for the amendments indicated by the Budget Rapporteur, without any set criteria for priorities. The choice serves the interests of parliamentarians. This year, there are 29 billion reais in the resources referenced directly by the rapporteur, Senator Marcio Bitar (MDB-AC), most of it for business. In addition, there are amendments indicated by state bodies and committees, also without distribution criteria.

While debating the budget, members of Congress admitted in detail to boost business resources in the midst of the pandemic. In particular, the leaders who heard from Estadão / Broadcast argued that “work is health” because it creates jobs and allows people to earn income in the context of the crisis caused by the Coronavirus.

At the start of the year, the Chamber’s president, Arthur Lyra (PP-AL), announced that Congress would create a specific anti-pandemic reserve in the budget. This has already been done, but only R $ 1.1 billion have been introduced as modifications to this destination. On the other hand, the regional development measure for business touch across the country received R $ 5.8 billion in nominations.

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The destination drew criticism from those who were excluded from the negotiations. Citizenship leader in the Senate said: “It does not make sense because it is a political distribution, without technical standards. It should be invested in regional development, it is important, but it is necessary to set a realistic budget.” Alessandro Vieira (SE).

The senator on citizenship is part of a group of parliamentarians who questioned the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) about maneuvering and lobbying the government to veto a portion of the amendments and avoid a gap in the spending ceiling. The argument is that if Bolsonaro imposes sanctions on the bill as passed by Congress, he is committing a liability crime and providing the legal basis for the impeachment process.

Behind the scenes, the argument is that the pandemic resource should open up with exceptional credit, outside the spending ceiling and initial budget schedule. However, this mechanism increases the indebtedness of the Union and has an impact on the primary outcome, the account that the government must close at the end of the year between spending and collection. Petar was wanted, but refused to comment. The information is taken from the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo.