Myth of the bloated State is refuted in a report by the newspaper ‘Extra’

Myth of the bloated State is refuted in a report by the newspaper ‘Extra’
Myth of the bloated State is refuted in a report by the newspaper ‘Extra’

04/03/2024 – Giselle Pereira

Brazil has fewer public servants than the OECD average; The fight in defense of public services and civil servants is mobilizing this week.

Every day, media outlets mass the news with the discourse that try to put the population against public servants and approve measures that make working conditions precarious and reduce the supply of essential services to the population.

The argument is reinforced by parliamentarians and government officials, lightly, to justify the need that an administrative ‘reform’ be approved in the National Congress – the debate of which has been presented so far, for example by the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad, although there is still no ready text, includes principles of Bolsonaro/Lira’s PEC 32, such as the attack on public tenders (read here).

The Lula government has also maintained a policy of zero salary adjustments for civil servants.

For his part, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Arthur Lira (PP/AL) tries to directly reheat the ‘reform’ proposed by the last government, claiming that Brazil would have an excessive number of civil servants and that they would be privileged in relation to the private sector.

This narrative does not hold water and even segments of the hegemonic media, historical defenders of privatizations, find it difficult to attack civil service after the Covid-19 pandemic. The Rio de Janeiro newspaper ‘Extra’, from Organizações Globo, published on March 26, in a column aimed at civil servants, but read by any reader, that the “statistics go against the thesis of the bloated State” (read here).

The approach is important due to the newspaper’s reach and because it contradicts the company’s own discourse based on international data. The text addressesresearch by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that shows that Brazil has 12% of public servants in relation to the total number of workers, while the average for member countries of that intergovernmental forum is 21%.

There are in the country a deficit of professionals in essential areas, such as health, education, security and the Judiciary.

Another fallacy debunked in the ‘Extra’ article is that public servants would earn salaries well above the market average and the population’s income. Contrasted by data from the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) — a foundation linked to the Ministry of Planning and Budget, a department headed by emedebista Simone Tebet — which reveals: “the average remuneration of federal, state and municipal employees, in 2017, was R$ 4,256.00, R$ 3,834.00 and R$ 2,940.00, respectively.”

Furthermore, in the four years of Bolsonaro’s government alone, civil servants received almost a 30% salary freeze; Today this percentage exceeds 53% in a group of categories and is 46.5%, on average.

Other relevant information released by ‘Extra’ comes from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the most respected research body in the country, also linked to the Ministry of Planning. In 2019, 90% of the Brazilian population earned less than 5 thousand reais — which reveals a market where overexploitation at very low cost is the rule. Therefore, “the demonization of public servants is not justified”, highlights the specialist in Administrative Law heard in the newspaper report.

The Sintrajud board highlights the defeat imposed by civil servants on Bolsonaro’s administrative ‘reform’, and that it is necessary to once again organize a unified fight against the approval of any ‘reform’ that attacks rights.

In this context of struggle, the National Servants Forum (Fonasefe) is carrying out a national mobilization this April 3rd for the right to careers and salary adjustments. And between the 16th and 18th of this month there should be acts, strikes and a march to Brasília, against the zero adjustment and the resumption of administrative ‘reform’ and in defense of social guarantees. In the case of the Judiciary, the demand for career restructuring is added to the agenda.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Myth bloated State refuted report newspaper Extra



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