Interim government damaging

Interim government damaging social security: Rousseff

Brasilia, May 21 (IANS) Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the interim government is causing “enormous damage” to the country’s social safety system.

In an interview on Friday with web users on Facebook, Rousseff, accompanied by former social welfare minister Carlos Gabas, criticised the measures of interim president Michel Temer’s government, Xinhua news agency reported.

Rousseff said Temer’s government has caused enormous damage to the country’s social security system.

“They got rid of the social welfare ministry. This is absurd. It is part of the heritage of Brazilian workers.”

In his first week in office after Rousseff was temporarily suspended from her duties on May 12, Temer has merged the social welfare ministry with the finance ministry.

“It is not known what will happen with the social welfare agencies that we modernized to increase services over the past few years. However, the interim minister said that the agencies are vacant spaces. Is he going to close the agencies? That is absurd,” said Rousseff.

On May 13, Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said that the reform “is an evident necessity” and social security has to be “self-supporting in the long term and it needs to have solvency from the government.”

As one of the main measures for the reform, Meirelles proposed establishing a minimum retirement age for the National Institute for Social Security.

The interim government on Monday invited unions to a meeting to discuss reforming Brazil’s generous pension system, something that analysts believe is necessary to begin pulling Brazil out of its worst recession since the 1930s. In Brazil, many public workers can retire by their early 50s.

However, the meeting was blocked by two of Brazil’s biggest unions, which cover about 42 percent of the nation’s nine million union workers.

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