With less money in people’s pockets and fewer votes, Bolsonaro gets more aggressive – 07/04/2021 – Vinicius Torres Freire

Until March 2020, the sum of certain monies that the federal government transfers to individuals was R $ 69 billion per month. In April, these transfers increased to R $ 105 billion, thanks to income aid from the epidemic period. At the peak, in June, they were R $ 149 billion monthly. In January and February of this year, the average of these payments had regressed to R $ 69 billion monthly.

Brazilians returned to withdraw money from savings accounts in the first three months of the year. They took out less loans from banks in the first two months. The disposable income for consumption fell to the mass of people without capital gains or financial investments.

Transfers from the federal government are INSS benefits, Bolsa Família, Continuous Payment Benefit (BPC, for the very poor elderly and disabled), salary allowance, unemployment insurance and some other broken ones.

These transfers were fattened by emergency aid, the salary supplementation program (BEm) and early payment of benefits. This account does not include retirement pensions (which vary little in the short term) and state and municipal transfers – the extraordinary epidemic, in particular, should not have increased until February, however.

The popularity of Jair Bolsonaro peaked between August and October last year, when aid was still large, income from work was recovering somewhat and sanitary measures to restrict movement and agglomeration were relaxed. Since January, Bolsonaro’s prestige has fallen.

The worsening of the economy and the work situation partially offset the end of the emergency benefits – on average. In reality, many people were left without help and remained unemployed, particularly the poorest. The gap has an economic effect (the poor consume their entire income or almost) and a socio-political effect, of course.

Poverty increased again, from September until the end of the year (there is no more recent data to do the calculations. Difficult that it has not increased). There are signs of stress among the remedies (among the poor, there is hunger).

Savings lose money, although the balances are still large. Until March 2020, the total accumulated savings grew at the rate of some R $ 20 billion. In March of this 2021, there were still R $ 120 billion more in the accounts than in March 2020, even after the total withdrawal of R $ 27.5 billion in the first quarter. But there are looting.

The federal government plans to pay some R $ 44 billion in the three months of this round of emergency assistance. It was what he paid, per month, from May to August 2020. Or what he paid in September and October 2020. The aid will also be worth less because it was eaten by inflation.

The fear of spending (“precautionary savings”), the fear of death and official restrictions on movement will bring down consumption, income and employment (we will know how much there will be in June).

Bolsonaro will not be able to count on aid and the relief effect of the reopening of the economy in the third quarter of 2020, if these were in fact the reasons for the recovery of his popularity. Perhaps that is why he now sets fire to his permanent coup-electoral campaign.

This Wednesday (7), he complained again about Petrobras, attacked the “lockdowns”, threatened to put the Armed Forces on the street against the social turmoil and other horrors of the repertoire. Before having dinner with businessmen, he vomited in the country.

If this is the reason for the offensive, the quarter ahead will be more tense. As if that were still possible.

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