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Brazil spending cap sparks angry protests

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 00:50

Protesters take to the streets as Senators approve a 20-year limit on public spending by constitutional amendment unprecedented in Brazil.

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NATURAL ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Heated scenes in Brazil's largest city of Sao Paulo on Tuesday (December 13) as protesters took to the streets in protest after Senators passed a 20-year public spending ceiling as part of an austerity drive by the government of President Michel Temer as he struggles to restore fiscal discipline amid an economic recession and political crisis. The move to limit spending by constitutional amendment was unprecedented in Brazil and is expected to be followed by an equally unpopular reform of Brazil's generous pension system. Some demonstrators broke into violence, smashing windows at firing flares at the Sao Paulo Industry Federation (FIESP) building during a protest against the constitutional amendment known as PEC 55. Critics say the move will set back Brazilians who are already reeling from the country's worst economic crisis in decades. Brazil's leftist opposition has said the spending cap proposed by Temer would cripple public education and health services. Temer's economic team, headed by Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles, says the spending cap is vital to putting overdrawn government accounts in order and recovering business confidence and the investment grade credit rating Brazil lost last year. But a Datafolha poll on Tuesday (December 13) showed that 60 percent of Brazilians are against the cap.

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Brazil spending cap sparks angry protests

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 00:50