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In letter to Congress, Temer re-affirms his commitment to social programs

Message to members of Congress

Acting President defends improvements to policies such as the Bolsa Família and Fies (scholarship program) and says that the path to reducing inequality is through education
published: Jul 08, 2016 12:00 AM last modified: Aug 05, 2016 03:37 PM

Acting President, Michel Temer, sent a message to the National Congress on July 8th wherein he re-affirmed the government’s priorities and commitment to social programs. In the letter, he cited some of the country’s most important programs: the Bolsa Família, the Fundo de Financiamento Estudantil (Fies), and the Programa Dinheiro Direto na Escola (PDDE).

The first, created in 2003, is a federal program that sees a direct income transfer to families in situations of poverty or extreme poverty countrywide. The Fundo de Financiamento Estudantil (Fies) guarantees students access to tertiary level course in private institutions through financing at lower rates of interest. Finally, the Programa Dinheiro Direto na Escola (PDDE) provides supplementary financial assistance to public elementary schools in the state, municipal and Federal District education systems as well as to special private schools  funded by non-profit organizations.

“The government works incessantly so that families can improve their incomes and, in the future, no longer be dependent on the program. This will only be possible through economic growth and job creation”, wrote the president.

In addition to income transfer, Temer said that he also believes that the path to reducing inequalities in the country must be through improving education. “With good quality education, we can generate opportunities for all Brazilians; for children and young people who want to improve their lives through a good education.”

Read full text:

PRESIDENT MICHEL TEMER RE-AFFIRMS PRIORITY AND COMMITMENT TO GOVERNMENT SOCIAL PROGRAMS

I would like to re-affirm what I have always said since I assumed the Presidency of the Republic: social programs are a commitment and priority of my government.

As of the 18th of this month, the Bolsa Família will have a re-adjustment of 12.5% in the average payment, which will increase from US$ 49,38 to US$55,68 Those that are at the level of extreme poverty will receive an increase from US$23,52  to US$ 25,96, and those who are on the poverty line, from US$ 47,04 to US$ 51,92.

The increase is greater than the 9%  announced in May and which was not implemented by the previous administration and is also above the level of inflation of the last 12 months. While it seems like little, it is fundamental to those that are in poverty. While extreme poverty exists, programs like the Bolsa Família need to continue.

The government works incessantly so that families can improve their income and stop depending on the program. This will only be possible with economic growth and job creation. Our priority is to create jobs, which will only be possible with a return to growth and by our making adjustments to public spending.

The government will continue to be active in strengthening social programs. We have transferred more than US$ 61,09 million  to 2,650 municipalities that look after the children that are recipients of the Bolsa Família in public and partner daycares. We are honoring the commitments that were not honored by the previous administration and authorizing a second pay out that should have been paid in 2015.

These resources are important so the that municipalities can increase the number of spaces in daycares to include children up to the age of 4. This program – Brasil Carinhoso – is already serving 756,000 children in the Bolsa Família program.

We wish to further improve the mechanisms for transferring income to the poorest. I have asked the Ministry of Social and Agrarian Development to set up a working group to improve the management of  social programs like Bolsa Família and Benefício de Prestação Continuada, which provides assistance to the elderly and those with disabilities.

We cannot allow these important benefits to be used incorrectly and, for this reason, I have asked for the registration of the beneficiaries to be up-dated so that resources reach to those that truly need them.

We have also prioritized education. I recently authorized the creation of 75,000 more positions in the Programa de Financiamento Estudantil, Fies, increasing government investment in the program in US$ 137,45 million.

The estrengthening of Fies was made possible through a budgetary re-adjustment of the file. Of the US$ 1,89 billion  cut made by the previous administration, the current government decided to re-instate something ifaround of US$ 1,44  billion .

These new credit contracts represent an increase of 50% in the number of signed contracts in the first semester of 2016. In the previous administration, there was no budget forecast for the second semester of this year.

For this government, education is fundamental for the country. For this reason, we are increasing our activity in this area and freeing up US$ 213,81 million for educational programs. One of the programs to benefit from this measure is the Programa Dinheiro Direto na Escola (PDDE), which is responsible for channeling resources to all elementary schools throughout Brazil.

These resources will also be directed at interrupted projects and those that are underway that were being financed by the Fundo Nacional de Desenvolvimento da Educação – National Fund for Education Development (FNDE). Among them are daycares and schools for basic education. All financed with federal government resources.

The reduction in inequality in the country is through education. With good quality education, we can generate opportunities for all Brazilians; for children and young people who want to improve their lives through a good education.

* Values converted from Brazilian reais to US dollars at exchange rate of 28/07/2016