Eliminating extreme poverty in Brazil has become Dilma Rousseff administration’s top priority. This week the government kicked off its effort by – literally – drawing a line in the sand: the extreme poverty line.
Based on surveys and 2010 census data by the government statistical bureau (IBGE), it was decided that the definition of extreme poverty in Brazil is: any family that has per capita income of less than 70 reais (US$ 43.7) per month.
The United Nations definition of extreme poverty is a person living on less than $1.25 per day, which works out to about US$ 60 per month.
As a result of the IBGE information, the minister of Social Development and Hunger Combat (MDS), Tereza Campello announced that the number of Brazilians living in extreme poverty is 16.2 million, the equivalent of 8.5% of the population.
She went on to explain that the new extreme poverty line will orient government social program policies, and especially the new Brazil Without Misery Plan (Plano Brasil sem Miséria) that the MDS will be launching soon.
In determining the new 70 reais per capita extreme poverty line, the IBGE took a number of factors into account besides income. For example, living conditions, the presence of indoor toilets and access to sewerage, potable water and electricity. The IBGE also evaluated whether the family members were elderly or illiterate.
Some other numbers in the IBGE surveys show just how daunting the problem of poverty is and the challenge facing the government: according to the IBGE, out of the 16.2 million in extreme poverty, 4.8 million have no income at all and the remaining 11.4 million have per capita income that varies widely – from R$1 to R$70 per month.
On the other hand, a total of 24,370,072 Brazilians turned in individual income tax declarations this year before the midnight deadline on Friday, April 29.
Anyone who missed the deadline will have to pay a fine of 165.74 reais (US$ 103.4), or 20% of owed taxes, whichever is higher. Brazilians are famous for leaving things for the last moment, and there was in fact a last minute rush as 3 million declarations were filed on the last day.
As of midnight, Friday, April 29, the IRS (Receita Federal) income tax declaration software program went off the air. A new program, for late filings, was available on Monday morning, May 2.