Brazilian finance minister Joaquim Levy said on Monday (23) that the country’s process of fiscal adjustment is practically complete “from the intellectual perspective.” He said now that the adjustment “has to happen in Congress.”

Levy was speaking at a seminar organized by the Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) in Rio de Janeiro, and implied that the government will not create any new measures to balance public finances.

Last week the government managed to get Congress to veto two projects that could have compromised the fiscal adjustment measures – salary reform in the courts and the extension of the minimum wage reform to pensioners.

The government also continues to push in the Senate for a law that repatriates – and taxes – money sent abroad illegally, as well as the return of the CPMF, a tax on financial transactions.

Last week, a section of the governing Workers’ Party (PT) agitated for Levy’s removal, requesting that he be replaced by Henrique Meirelles, head of the Central Bank during the Lula administration. However, President Rousseff insisted “he [Levy] is staying where he is.”

Levy said that Congress’ delay in approving the fiscal adjustment measures could result in further tax rises. He recalled that tax reform may only take place 90 days after the decision has been taken, which would further delay federal tax collection.

© Erbs Jr./FramePhoto/Folhapress
© Erbs Jr./FramePhoto/Folhapress