Government Yields to Protesters and Will Use Reserves to Free Up Money for Education
Brazils federal government will use budget reserves to free up money for federal education, thereby preserving the budget that the Ministry of Education cut last month. The measure was announced this Wednesday (22), one week after demonstrators in more than 170 cities took to the streets to protest against education budget cuts. At the end of two months, these budget reserves amounted to R$ 5.372 billion (US$1.3 billion). The government will use R$ 2,166 billion (US $533 million) to cover a lack of revenues caused by lower economic growth. Another R$ 1.587 billion (US$ 390 million) is destined to reset the federal education funding that was formerly blocked by the Ministry of Education. Another R$56.6 million (US$ 14 million) will go to the Ministry of the environment. By using these reserves, the government will avoid discretionary spending budget cuts, which ignited the protests last week. According to the special secretary of the Treasury, Waldery Rodrigues, the executive branch decided to free up the funds. When questioned why the government decided only now to use the reserves, Rodrigues said that the resources would have been insufficient to cover the budget freeze that was announced in March.