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Brazil Pension Reform Passes First Hurdle In Congress

First Posted: Jul 24, 2019 03:07 AM EDT
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Brazil pension reform passes first hurdle in Congress

Photo : REUTERS

Brazil's lower house of Congress has voted by a large majority to overhaul the country's generous pension system. The vote, with 379 in favor and 131 against, is seen as an important victory for President Jair Bolsonaro.

His government says the reforms are critical to boosting the growth of South America's biggest economy. But the controversial bill requires a second vote in the lower house before moving to the Senate where it faces weeks - or months - of more debate.

The next vote is due to take place before Congress breaks for recess next week.  Proposed reforms include raising the retirement age and increasing workers' contributions. Trade unions and opposition politicians argue that such moves would penalize the poorest, forcing them to work longer.

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