Facebook Twitter

Brazil’s economy boosted by austerity measure approval

SHARE Brazil’s economy boosted by austerity measure approval

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) -- Brazil's government has won an important vote in its bid to pass a major austerity measure expected to yield $8 billion a year.

The Chamber of Deputies voted 357-135 late Tuesday to increase a tax on financial transactions. The lower house must vote one more time for the measure to make it law.Brazil's upper house, the Senate, passed the bill in January.

The measure is the last in a $14.9 billion austerity plan that helped ensure Brazil a $41.5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund and other lenders in November.

The government has already started work on a new set of belt-tightening measures since its currency plunged 40 percent after the central bank let it float freely starting Jan. 15.

On Monday, the Finance Ministry and the IMF made public Brazil's revised 1999 economic targets. These include a budget surplus of 3.1 percent and 16.8 percent inflation.

To achieve the targets, the government plans to freeze salaries of 500,000 civil servants, speed up privatization and raise electric energy charges, among other measures.