Brazilians Get Rid of Temporary Tax on Checks that Lasted 14 Years

Brazilian opposition senators celebrate victory Starting the new year Brazilians will have one less tax to pay. Concluding a seven-hour heated debate in the Brazilian senate, which went on up to the wee hours of this Thursday, December 13, the opposition defeated a Lula administration proposal to keep charging until 2011 a tax on checks and other financial transactions.

The check tax is known by the acronym of CPMF (Contribuição Provisória sobre Movimentação Financeira – Temporary Contribution on Financial Transactions).

All the government's maneuvers were not enough to get the three fifths majority the administration needed to keep the tax, which was created in 1993 to be a one-year stopgap measure to fund health programs.

The check tax was born as a 0.20% levy on financial transactions and four years later had that rate raised to 0.38%. The tribute was bringing about 38 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 21.54 billion) every year to the federal government's coffers.

Only about half of this money was being used by the Health Ministry. Social Security and poverty programs were getting part of the cash. This was Lula's worst defeat in Congress in the five years he is in power.

The proposal was rejected by 34 opposing votes. The government needed a minimum of 49 votes to guarantee this constitutional amendment, but received only 45 favorable votes.

Talking for the oppositions, Rodrigo Maia, the Rio de Janeiro representative who is the Democratas leader in the House, told reporters: "Brazil needed this. The government wasn't able to understand that the country is changing."

At the last minute the government tried to gain some votes even promising to use all the money collected for health programs. To no avail.

Senator Romero Jucá from Roraima, who is the government's leader in the senate proposed that the CPMF lasted only one more year, but his proposal was also rejected. In a last failed maneuver Jucá tried to postpone the final vote on the senate floor for another day.

The leader of the DEM party in the senate, José Agripino, from Rio Grande do Norte state, supported the end of the CPMF as a way to reduce the tax burden: "If the government says that without the CPMF the health sector will collapse it's because it intends to use the budget's surplus to fund public TV, to create offices and ministries, to promote an irresponsible lavishness by those who don't know how to rule."



You May Also Like

Rayfran Sales Confesses He Killed US Nun

A military helicopter arrived in Altamira from Anapu with Rayfran das Neves Sales aboard. ...

Maverick Darcy Ribeiro blasts off

Interview with Darcy Ribeiro “We are, in fact, the new Rome, but a better ...

Looking for Love

Documents required: By Janaina Gimael The Secretaria de Assistência Social (Social Assistance Department), an ...

Brazil Wants Less Red Tape and More Effective International Help to Haiti

Haiti is in need of a new form of international cooperation, with a focus ...

Brazil’s Supreme Gets Case Against Speaker of the House

The wheels of justice continue to turn in Brazil. Even though the Brazilian Speaker ...

Brazilian Congress Taking Its Time to Pay Paraguay More for Itaipu

It seems there is a positive attitude in the Brazilian congress towards the consideration ...

Amnesty’s 12-Point Plan to End Torture in Brazil

Amnesty International urges the Brazilian government to implement the following recommendations to stamp out ...

Presidents Bush and Lula from the US and Brazil

Bush Just Learned That Brazil Is No US Backyard Any Longer

The most interesting thing about the recent visit by President Bush to Brazil is ...

World Watches While Brazil Balances Booming Economy and Protecting Biodiversity

Expect to hear plenty about Dilma Rousseff in 2011. The former student militant made ...

Cairo International Fair

Egypt Interested in Brazilian Beef, Juices, Wood and Petrochemicals

The balance of the Brazilian stand in the 40th edition of Cairo International Fair ...