Minister says it is necessary to resist “interest groups” in Congress to approve proposal
The Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad, said he expected more than 60 votes in the vote on tax reform in the Senate plenary. He met this Thursday (2.Nov.2023) with the rapporteur of the proposal at the House, senator Eduardo Braga (MDB-AM), to discuss the final adjustments to the text. According to Haddad, it is necessary to resist “interest groups” in Congress for the proposal to be approved.
“They [relatores da reforma no Congresso] They know the difficulties and they know the interest groups that are demonstrating there. There you know the game is rough. And people need to resist as much as possible with common sense, with argument, to compose the necessary votes. We need 49 votes to approve a PEC. But, we want to move from 60 wishes”, he said in an interview with journalists after the meeting with the rapporteur.
The team expects, according to Haddad, a score similar to other approvals of projects of interest to the government. He stated that the Executive sought to make economic matters “non-partisan”.
“We didn’t even send a PEC [sobre a reforma tributária]. We could have sent a PEC and we didn’t. We took advantage of all the work that had already been done in the Chamber and the Senate, precisely so as not to stamp it as a PEC of A, B or C, but something for the country“, he said.
The proposal (PEC 45/2019) must be voted on in the Tuesday (7.Nov.2023) in the CCJ (Constitution and Justice Committee) of the Senate. Afterwards, it will be analyzed in 2 rounds in the plenary –at least 49 votes are required (3/5 of the House’s composition).
The rapporteur and the government expect the vote on the text to be completed in the Senate by November 9th. If it is approved by the senators, as it has been changed, the proposal will return to the Chamber for analysis.
According to Haddad, the changes made to the proposal in the Senate should increase the standard rate by 0.5 points, which could reach 27.5%. The reference rate considers the 2 new taxes that will be created (the Contribution on Goods and Services, federal, and the Tax on Goods and Services, state and municipal) to replace 5 taxes in force.
“The position of the Treasury has been known since the beginning. The fewer exceptions, the better for the country. But, in light of the current situation, we have 27 tax systems in the country, each State has its own, apart from court decisions […] We understand that to form a majority, after 40 years of trying, you will have to count votes”, declared.
Haddad said that there is a commitment from the reform rapporteurs for the text to be approved this year. In the Chamber, the rapporteur is deputy Aguinaldo Ribeiro (PP-PB). Deputies approved the PEC on July 6 and, since then, the text has been under analysis by the Senate.
“The Treasury’s position is always restrictive to exceptions. This is public, but both the [deputado] Aguinaldo Ribeiro, like Senator Eduardo Braga, are committed to approving the reform”, stated Haddad.
The proposal is a priority for the Executive, which is in a hurry to approve the text. The deadline for voting and promulgation until the end of the year is also defended by the president of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), and the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG).