Since 2003 when he was inaugurated Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has increased the federal payroll with 64.000 new posts and is planning to add another 46.000 in this the last year of his two four-year mandates, according to government sources.
“This is part of a strategic policy to reinforce the federal government workings and improve the salaries of civil servants,” indicated the sources.
According to the influential daily newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, the Brazilian presidency plus the 37 ministries and other related offices and organizations have a total staff of 549.000 that receive salary increases above the inflation rate and retire on full salary pensions.
“This represents 64.000 government posts more than in 2002, before President Lula took office,” reports the newspaper.
Contests for the 46.000 new federal posts in the different government offices will be taken from now until the end of June.
“The goal of the government is to give the State a new strategic role” and this “would be incompatible with a reduction in staff”, points out a release from the Planning Ministry.
Official statistics show that Education was the area most benefited with the new jobs, 30.000, followed by the Federal Police, Tax collectors and Social security.
“We’re recovering the capacity of the State to act and for this we need to re-qualify through competitive contests and formalizing those posts that had been given out to the private sector in previous governments,” said Marcelo Viana Estevão de Moraes, Planning minister.
The massive contracting at federal level reverses the restrictive policies of the nineties under the administrations of former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Fernando Collor de Mello when the tendency was to cut the federal payroll, points out O Estado.
The newspaper ends the article asking whether the increase in federal staff will represent an improvement in government services.
The opposition claims contracting such a number of staff is part of the government’s effort to prop its campaign for the October presidential election when the successor of Lula da Silva will be chosen.