Brazilian department urges president-elect to curb civil service salaries

By on 20/11/2018 | Updated on 24/09/2020
Jair Bolsonaro has been urged to restrain pay rises for Brazil’s civil service

Salaries of government workers should be brought into line with those of the private sector, according to an official report handed to the president-elect of Brazil.

The right-wing former army captain Jair Bolsonaro won 55% of the vote in last month’s presidential election, and will succeed Michel Temer on 1 January. One of his major election pledges was to tackle the country’s budget deficit.

The federal government represents 24% of all formal jobs in Brazil. The study, by the Ministry of Planning, found that 1,275,283 people were on the government’s payroll as of July 2018, with 634,000 of those in active service, according to news site Folha de SPaolo.

Wage squeeze looms

According to the study, the executive branch’s payroll cost R$172 billion (US$46 billion) in 2017, with R$105.9 billion (US$28.3 billion) of the total amount paid to civil servants in active duty.

The department’s report stated that the cost of the payroll was a result of high salaries, rather than an excessive number of employees. It has sent the report to Bolsonaro’s transition team, and recommended changing the government’s wage structure to make it similar to the private sector.

The department also recommended postponing salary increases due in 2019 till 2020, after it estimated the cost of the rise at R$4.7 billion (US$1.25 billion) next year alone.

About Catherine Early

Catherine is a journalist and editor specialising in government policy and regulation. She writes predominantly about environmental issues and has held permanent roles at the Environmentalist (now known as Transform), the ENDS Report, Planning magazine and Windpower Monthly, and has also written for the Guardian, the Ecologist and China Dialogue. She was a finalist in the Guardian’s International Development Journalism competition 2009, and was part of the team that won PPA Business Magazine of the Year 2011 for Windpower Monthly. She also won an outstanding content award at Haymarket Media Group’s employee awards for data-led stories in Planning magazine. She holds a 2:1 honours degree in English language and literature from Birmingham University.

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