Comment about reforms in Brazil, for Latin America Advisor
Pedro Rossi, professor at the State University of Campinas: “Brazil is crossing a period of increasing authoritarianism, and the reform of the public pension system is part of this context. An illegitimate government— where the vice president comes to power conspiring openly against the president- elect—presented a set of reforms that are not only unpopular, but antidemocratic, since it dismantles the social pact signed in the 1988 Constitution. This set of reforms meets the demands of a minority of the population, whose interests are defended by the media and by a small group of economists who seek to create false consensuses.
There are a number of studies that show that pension reform removes social rights and concentrates income in Brazil, one of the most unequal countries in the world. One of the rules of this reform is to raise the minimum contribution time from 15 years to 25 years, which will withdraw access to the public pension system from a large portion of the population that works part of
their lifetime in the informal market. Finally, the reforms are not aimed at recovering the economy, but at transforming the Brazilian state by withdrawing its capacity to promote social policies and to induce growth. It is a new wave of neoliberalism, with the difference that the ‘neoliberal consensus’ is over, and the measures are now being imposed in an authoritarian way. If there are elections in 2018, these reforms will be defeated at the polls.”