Brazil’s top two economic policy-makers on Monday confirmed resumption of negotiations with Congress on a sweeping pension reform, saying they expect a congressional vote in October. In a statement, Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles confirmed resumption of talks with Congress, saying pension reform was now the government’s top priority. He added that, once pension reform is resolved, the government will ask Congress to pass broad tax reform legislation. In a speech in São Paulo, Planning Minister Dyogo de Oliveira called pension reform “essential and urgent.” He also confirmed resumption of negotiations with Congress and predicted an October vote. The administration of President Michel Temer is pursuing sweeping reforms in pensions and taxes as a way to defuse a fiscal time bomb caused by rising budget deficits. The pension reform is designed to relieve some of the fiscal stress while the tax reform aims to simplify the tax system and encourage investment and job creation.
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