BRAZIL: Senator Suplicy reaffirms that a BI is attainable now
In a recent interview, Senator Eduardo Suplicy reiterated the case for a basic income (BI) in Brazil, underlining that is not only desirable but something that is practically attainable now. At present, the BI in Brazil still exists in a truncated form as the Bolsa Familia conditional cash transfer (covering 25% of the population). Suplicy was the architect of the 2004 law that established the BI in Brazil. This law was charged with introducing the BI there gradually, with the Bolsa Familia being the first step in the process. Suplicy argues that that the time has come for the Bolsa Familia to be extended to cover all Brazilians. He calculates that covering all Brazilians with a modest BI of USD$35 a month would require an eight-fold increase in the budget of USD$80 billion (4% of GDP) currently assigned to the Bolsa Familia. In spite of such fiscal challenges, he believes this is possible given the prosperity the world is seeing and the potential of natural resources as an additional funding source.
For more on this issue see:
Nagarajan, Rema, “Brazil: Imagine a World Free of Hunger and Need,” the Times of India, September 6, 2012.