Congressmen in Brazil Double Own Salary Leaving Their US Colleagues in the Dust

Brazilian senators and House representatives approved this Thursday, December 14, a hike in salary, which will double their earnings and make them some of the best paid politicians in the world, ahead of their colleagues in the United States and the United Kingdom.

With the wage boost (it came to 90.7%) congressmen will make 24,600 reais a month in salary (US$ 11,489) or 70 times the current minimum wage in Brazil. The raise means that ministers of the Supreme Court and members of both Houses will now receive identical compensation.

The new salary, which kicks in this coming February 1st, will be paid not 12 times a year but 15, since Brazilian federal legislators get two extra monthly wages at the start and at the end of the year plus, like every other worker in Brazil, they also receive a 13rd bonus salary just before the holiday season.

Besides the monthly remuneration they will also be entitled to several other compensations, which are paid every month and include air ticket aid (US$ 3,700 to US$ 6,500 a month), phone and post office quota (US$ 1,992), housing aid (US$ 1,400), cabinet allowance (US$ 23,300) and compensating stipend (US$ 7,000), which is used by congressmen to maintain their offices in their home states.

There was no real opposition to the increase in Congress. The only legislator against any hike was presidential candidate and senator Heloí­sa Helena, who is on her way out.

House representative Chico Alencar, leader of the PSOL, senator Helena’s party, proposed a raise of 17%, which would be the same as the average increase given public employees.

The leader of the ruling PT party, Henrique Fontana asked for a 28.4% readjustment, which according to him would compensate for the last four year’s inflation rate.

Congressional raises in Brazil have a cascade effect throughout the country since states and municipalities have their own wages pegged to the federal salaries. By law, state assemblymen, for example, make as much as 75% of what a congressman makes. And depending on the size of a city, council members will receive from 20% to 75% of a assemblyman salary.

It’s estimated that the wage boost will represent an extra drain of US$ 775 million to the treasury. US$ 676 million will go to city councils, US$ 57 million to state assemblies and US$ 42 million to both houses of Congress.

Aldo Rebelo, the speaker of the House, who belongs to the Communist Party, explained that there won’t be any increase in costs since both houses will be cutting expenditures to compensate for the raise in earnings. Nobody seems to be buying into this rationalization however.

Even before the raise, Brazilian congressmen were already making more than their colleagues in Great Britain. While Her Majesty’s House of Commons members make about US$ 118,000 a year, Brazilian legislators, starting in February will earn a much more impressive yearly income: US$ 172,000. And the American House Representatives, who earn a yearly US$ 165,200, will not be a match for the Brazilians either.


  • Show Comments (21)

  • Allen Brown

    yea BO
    if most brasilians took to the streets about the politicians like they do a foot ball game then the goverment would have to take a close look .

    Get that big drug dealer in prison in RIO to start a complete shut down in rio and sao paulo and then go on to brazila just shut down the hole country make it so bad for the goverment they cant leave the buildings till they resend there money and put the money to the minum wage for the rest of Brasil

    you have enough people they could just set out side there houses of the congressmen and around there cars
    dont be affraid of them stand up to them a tell them you are a human also and a brasilian you gave them the job and you shure can take it away from them if they done do what is good for you and the country of brasil

  • bo

    Allen Brown
    What I’m saying Allen is that the changes that need to be made in Brazil must be made in Brazil, and that means that people need to mobilize and take to the streets here, in Brazil. If those brazilians in the U.S. protested about situations in brazil it could draw attention to the situation in the U.S., but it’s not like that the american gov’t. and the american people that are familiar with brazil don’t already know about the corruption and impunity that exist here.

    As I stated, when you have corrupt politicians and they are never made to stand trial, hence never found guilty in a court of law in their home countries then they are NOT technically criminals, they’ve never been convicted of anything. So how can the U.S. gov’t., or any gov’t., keep these types from buying property, or sending millions of dollars to their countries…..the answer is they can’t.

    The corrupt politicians in brazil need to be held accountable for their actions, in brazil. And until they’re found guilty of criminal charges in the country where the crime(s) took place, other countries certainly can’t try and convict them for activities that occurred in brazil, nor hold any formal predjudices.

    Until the laws are changed in brazil, yes, there is actually a [b]law[/b] in brazil that protects politicians from being prosecuted for corruption, and accountability becomes a priority, in brazil, the brazilian people are going to have to endure this wholesale robbery of public monies.

  • Allen Brown

    HAY BO
    As i said
    if enough people write the congerss and you could get someone from the press to carry the news than all the brasilians in the us could march to save there country . we could do something .

    if you dont think look at the cubans in florida thye stop the state all the time .

    you have the land grabers march in brasil and the goverment of brasil listens so how about the people for equal pay and goverment spending .

    no body go to work no, body buy things from large companies , pull a large scale stopage , like the drug dealers in RIO do to get there cell phones back

    joao heringer

    and the its not there fault they are there crooks

    what are you trying to tell us ?????

    IS there a geen we dont know about that makes all grovmental workers crooks , is it in the water , or the money the handel

  • joao heringer

    I think USA made and in particular the two American pilots forced them to do this. It’s really not their fault they are crooks.

  • Paulo

    Governo vai pisar sobre todos os Brasileiros
    SÀƒ³ o Governo e os criminosos tÀƒªm o poder. CidadÀƒ£os deve simplesmente cale a boca.

  • Ana

    This is a monstrosity. This needs to stop.

  • bo

    [quote]then people in the U.S. must help with letters to there congress men to pass a law to stop this wole sale theft of the brasilian people[/quote]

    But first and foremost they MUST incriminate and convict those that are responsible!!! Approximately seven years ago I phoned someone in the State Department in Washington D.C. concerning Fernando Collar. He stole approximately 200 million dollars and after he resigned the presidency, he moved to Miami, Florida where he currently lives in a multi-million dollar home.

    I asked them how could the american gov’t. allow such a person to live in the U.S. There response was as follows, “We’re well aware of what took place concerning Mr. Collar in Brazil, [b]but he was NEVER convicted of a crime!![/b]

    Until [b]impunity[/b] is no longer the “soup du jour” in brazil concerning corrupt politicians and they’re never held accountable for their actions, crimes, in brazil, never tried in a court of law and naturally never convicted, they’ll be free to buy whatever they want, wherever they want, send millions to Swiss bank accounts, or U.S. bank accounts, without repurcussions in said countries.

  • João Carlos

    I am really shocked!!!!
    I am a Brazilian who loves so much my land and I teach my daughter how she has to love her Brazil. I think itÀ‚´s time to start something, we canÀ‚´t go on like this, outrageous is not much when we see the politicians acting this way. We have to protest out in the streets , stop the whole country and do not accept this scandal.

  • Allen Brown


    lets do it this way !!!!!
    whom ever knows where the people live get a photo of the house , aparment , boat , country home , what they drive ,what there gril friend lives in and what she drives , and how many days do they work for the money .
    just pick one and post it on the internet say once a week send it to the paper see if they would print it .

    if the people saw how they lived compared to them , i think you would get the response we are looking for

    get me true names and i will look into land in the U.S. and banks to see what they have stashed away up north .

    then people in the U.S. must help with letters to there congress men to pass a law to stop this wole sale theft of the brasilian people

  • bo

    it’s been time for the people to take action in brazil for a LONG time now. Brazil’s own federal gov’t. verified earlier this year through audits that corruption exists in [b]77%[/b], that’s right, [b]SEVENTY-SEVEN PERCENT[/b], of brazilian municipalities. Now that figure they were able to VERIFY, naturally the real figure is even HIGHER.

    Unfortunately this type of corruption, and the ideology that the people work for the politicians, and not vice-versa, has been accepted for many decades now in the minds of brazilians. Many may not like it, but they accept it and keep quiet instead of mobilizing and taking to the streets.

    Until the majority of brazilians are educated, the status quo, or worse, will remain for the common man in brazil. And one can bet that the people that really run this country will make certain that “education for the masses” remains a slow process, as they know when the majority gets educated, things will naturally change in favor of the man on the street, they will no longer be able to pay a minimum salary of “miseria”, and a power change will occur. This process will take many decades, and possibly even centuries, without some type of revolution, which the middle class whom have the ability to undertake such a thing, have absolutely no desire to do so nor risk their current “status” nor make the necessary sacrifices.

    It’s things like this that brazilians actually have power and influence over, are able to make some kind of change, rather than pointing their fingers and blame on external influences and accepting things, although complaining, as if they have no ability or power to make change since those responsible for their dilemma don’t even reside in the country.

    Brazilians can make changes for the betterment of their plight, and it needs to start with those that are directly keeping them in situations and conditions of miseria. This is unequivocable proof that brazilians have been screwing brazilians for a LONG time now. Where the portuguese left off, the brazlians took over.

  • Ricardo José

    This is the final revolting affront to the Brazilian people. The Congress has no moral authority, after a year of scandulous revelations and worse, and then pardoning their colleagues of wrongdoing even in front of irrefutable evidence. The Brazilian people can no longer stand idly by, being made a laughingstock by these elitist corrupt powerbarons, feasting like pigs at the trough of the common people. Brazilians need to mobilize, inundate these congressmen with email, call their office, post blogs with the photos and contact info of the congresspeople, and go on strike and promote major public manifestations. Here one must fight to be heard, and need to make a scandal to be respected. It is time for action, Brazilian people.

  • Allen Brown

    change the law
    A few weeks ago i gave every one the emailaddress to all the senators and congress person in the U.S.

    EMAIL them and make them pass the law it is on the books but has not had any one trying to push it

    the way it reads any public offical must give full disclosher of all funds to be deposited in U.S. banks

    pleas send them a letter

    if you dont have the site i will repost it

  • Eduardo

    Same old story
    Once De Gaule said……

  • Arrelia

    Pois Àƒ© brasileiros, esta Àƒ© uma daquelas notÀƒ­cias que deixa qualquer um cabisbaixo, chutando pedras na rua… Mas isso Àƒ© tambÀƒ©m pra nos fazer pensar calmamente sobre as nossas atitudes com relaÀƒ§Àƒ£o ao Brasil. SerÀƒ¡ que tudo o que podemos fazer pelo paÀƒ­s Àƒ© ser altamente negativos ou simplistas sobre nossos problemas, serÀƒ¡ mesmo que nÀƒ£o tem soluÀƒ§Àƒ£o? Pois Àƒ© amigos, se vivemos reclamando de tudo, e achando que o paÀƒ­s como naÀƒ§Àƒ£o nÀƒ£o tem jeito, entÀƒ£o um aumento desses para nossos amados polÀƒ­ticos nÀƒ£o Àƒ© assim grande coisa. Se vocÀƒª acha que nada pode ficar pior do que estÀƒ¡, como agora, saiba que pode sim, pegue por exemplo, o mÀƒªs de junho deste ano quando este aumento nem passava pela cabeÀƒ§a de ninguÀƒ©m e verÀƒ¡ que sempre poderÀƒ¡ ficar pior se vocÀƒª ficar sÀƒ³ esperando pelo pior e nÀƒ£o mudar de atitude. Me faz pensar por que diabos nÀƒ³s que somos os mortais da hora vivemos pensando que tudo deveria ser perfeito se em outros tempos, outros homens viveram e, como nÀƒ³s, enfrentaram condiÀƒ§Àƒµes tÀƒ£o adversas ou atÀƒ© piores que as nossas. Tudo progride mas exige esforÀƒ§o. O nosso esforÀƒ§o, parece monumental e impossÀƒ­vel, mas outros tambÀƒ©m jÀƒ¡ pensaram assim e tiveram sucesso. NinguÀƒ©m vai construir um belo paÀƒ­s da noite pro dia, mas Àƒ© preciso comeÀƒ§ar algum dia, quanto antes melhor.

  • ch.c.

    To Rod !
    You just confirmed you know nothing about Swiss Banks !
    Please check by yourselves articles on this same site, dated a while back, talking about the over 150 billions Reais that were money laundered out of
    Brazil from 1998 to 2002 !!!!! You read well…..150 bilions Reais !!!!!

    All these billions went mostly to NY and Miami Banks…..not in Swiss banks !!!!!!
    Quite strange that you Central Banks did not see these billions of outflows, when your ex Finance Minister Palocci was able to find out very fast that a young boy who incriminated in was found to have a 30’000 Reais account in a Brazilian Bank !!!!!!!

    Now on Swiss Banks : if you have a million $ or more and you are a politician or government member from whatever country, it is most highly unlikely that you will be able to open a Swiss Bank account !!!!!!

    Sorry for you Rob and sorry for those who still believe that Swiss banks open accounts from doubtful origin.
    Far easier to open them in the USA, the UK or in offshore countries such as
    Bahamas (where Itau bank just set up an office, by taking over some foreign bank banches), BVI, Panama and the likes !!!!

    Anyway, going back to your politicfians salaries, then Lula continue to lie by saying he reduced the wealth inequality in Brazil which is dead wrong.
    Brazil is ranked near the bottom of all countries in the world, and from what is going on, futures ranking are going to be even worse….not better !!!!

    But dont worry, you have only a few countries to beat, and last you will be and remain for many decades to come !

  • S

    You can always count on Brazil to show the world the true meaning of the word “corruption.” Jesus wept…

  • Concerned International Citizen

    You’ve got to be kidding !
    I say the only way to cure all of the corrupt politicians in Brazil ( let it be said that all are not corrupt, but ) is to round them all up, and find a place for them in one the favellas in Rio or Sao Paulo ( no disregard for the people living in the favellas ). Force them to live there for a year or two, just to see how these politicians are forcing there own people to live in poverty, while they live in the lap of luxury ! You corrupt politicians, ( and you all know who you are ) are scum and should be treated as such. One day the good people of Brazil will find their way, and you scum better run into the Amazon to hide. That’s if there’s any Amazon left.

  • Rod

    They cut Air Traffic control to give themselves more money. Very Ironic. I hope they enjoy the travel expenses. I bet it will be with military escourt to leave Brazilian airspace and the rest will be overseas. Its not enough that they steal from the government. Lula is no better than Castro and his cronies. Blame USA for your problems and stash your poor citizens money in a bank account in Switzerland.

  • alltheway

    Americans bend over and get war, Brasilians bend over and get screwed, this is amazing that congress can increase their pay this much, but like the gringos, someone voted these people into office. What would the people who didn’t get voted in have done ?

  • Allen Brown






  • bo

    fucking laughable, how can anyone look at this country with a straight face. 25% of the population making less than TWO dollars a day, and these crooked fucks. You can add another 500K a year or so per for corruption.

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