The Brazilian government is going back and forth on whether or not it should still hold a lower house vote on the voting of a reform bill concerning its social security and pension system to February 2018], Reuters reports.
Although the call was made on Wednesday to delay the vote to February by Senate leader Romero Jucá. Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles later said the government was still working on holding a vote in Brazil’s lower house of Congress next week.
Earlier in the day, President Michel Temer warned that if his controversial bill is not approved by Congress, the country’s economy could suffer dramatically.
“If we do not reform pensions now, in two years’ time it will have to be done more radically,” he said in a bill support speech to hundreds of mayors], Reuters reports. “The economy could react negatively if we do not succeed in passing pension reform.”
The bill looks to increase the retirement and social security collection age to cut the country’s tremendous budget deficit. In addition, private sector workers will require a contribution minimum of 15 years, while retiring public service employees will require a 25-year minimum. To receive full benefits, workers will also require 40 years of service.
If the bill officially gets pushed back to 2018, it will become more difficult for a reform, as next year is an election year for Brazil.
The bill must be approved twice in both chambers to pass, with a Senate vote expected to be easier.