With more than five hours of debate, criticism from the opposition and celebrations from government supporters, the tax reform was approved this Wednesday (8) in two rounds in the Senate.
The score in both votes was close: 53 votes to 24. It took 49 votes to approve the proposal.
The leader of the opposition, Senator Rogério Marinho (PL-RN), recognized the need for this measure. But, in his opinion, there is no need to approve “unfair” arguments.
Marinho criticized the estimated maximum rate of 27.5% for the new consumption tax, which he said would place Brazil first in the world for imposing this type of tax.
He also spoke of the burden weighing on certain sectors of society, which could compromise the country’s economic growth.
“When we say that there is no increase in the tax burden, this is contradicted by practice. It is a reform that does not help our country, with a debt that will be paid by future generations,” Marinho said.
For Senator Oriovisto Guimarães (Podemos-PR), the project voted on today is “technically a shame”. He mentioned that if the opposition were Machiavellian, they would vote for reform with the sole aim of harming the government.
According to him, the transition – with the coexistence of old and new taxes in the same period – will compromise the business economy. The deputy presented a substitute, supported by opponents, but rejected by the majority.
“I wonder: who is this reform aimed at? It’s sad. I am convinced that we are harming the country,” expressed Guimarães.
Senator Carlos Portinho (PL-RJ) warned that the population would foot the bill for reform. According to the parliamentarian, the government creates more taxes and does not know how to save.
“This is not a tax reform. It is the tax reform that the people will pay for. All senators who vote in favor are voting against the future of the country. Brazil needs reform, but not this one,” Portinho said.
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Former President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) participated in a dinner with PL senators on Tuesday (7) and called several leaders to ask them to vote against tax reform.
Bolsonaro also posted a lengthy message on X (formerly Twitter) explaining why he voted against the country’s new tax rules.
In yet another act of pressure against reform, the former head of the Executive was present this Wednesday afternoon at the National Congress.
In a conversation with allies, Bolsonaro sounded enthusiastic and said he believed the government’s advantage would not be as wide in plenary.
For the former president’s interlocutors, the result of this vote could help define not only the extent of the government’s support, but also reveal the fragility of Bolsonarism as an opposition.
Bolsonaro’s main argument is that the reform will lead to higher taxes. He also posted a message on social media accusing some senators of voting with “communists.”
The PL, however, decided to encourage voting against, but not to punish anyone who votes for. “No one wanted to vote for a tax increase on taxpayers. This is why it was not necessary to close the case,” said Senator Carlos Portinho.
VIDEO – Bolsonaro launches offensive against tax reform, but encounters resistance
First major tax reform
The head of government in the National Congress, Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (no party-AP), said that this vote marks the first major tax reform in the country under a democratic regime, with society waiting for a change since 1985, with the end of the army. dictatorship.
Randolfe, however, regretted the position of the opposition, which “not so long ago was in favor of reform, but today is opposed to it.”
“This reform, as it stands, could generate seven to 12 million jobs. We will be included in the list of countries with more modern tax systems. It may not be a perfect reform, but it is a lamp in the night of fiscal despair,” he said.
The measure’s rapporteur, Senator Eduardo Braga (MDB-AM), thanked the senators for their suggestions and the confidence of the President of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG). The text received more than 800 amendments, 26 of which were presented in plenary.
Braga said the reform would not increase the country’s tax burden, but would encourage economic growth.
“It is time for Brazil to adopt a new tax system, which simplifies, provides legal certainty and transparency, to generate jobs and income,” he said.
*With information from Agência Senado and Thais Arbex, from CNN