First let us set the record straight once and for all, twenty cents is not what it’s about…
The level of inequality in Brazil is something that simply should not be accepted in these modern times in which we are living. But, it is! And this needs to change.
“The richest 10% of Brazilians receiving 42.7% of the nation’s income, while the poorest 10% receive less than 1.2%” – This statement alone makes the blood boil of the 90% of Brazilians who fall below that magical richest top 10%.
Brazil… A country fighting for the right to the basics in life: health, education, security and a home, none of which the government are willing to provide at an acceptable standard, Instead they happily take between 0% and 22.5% of the middle class’s salaries to use for personal gain and allow private companies to take over their failings in the public sectors, leaving most of the population having to pay for their own health care and education. In 2011 the Brazilian government were happy to announce that 31 million people had been lifted out of poverty (1999-2009) and into the dizzying heights of the middle classes swelling the numbers to around 52% of the population at 95 million people (in 2011), meaning that an equivalent of 1.5 times the population of the UK are earning a monthly income of between R$1000 and R$4000. This all sounds good and well but, let us consider that the minimum salary in Brazil is currently set at R$674.96 per month and the average cost of private schooling and health care can topple that figure easily, leaving the poor/lower class to struggle with the public system which has little, or no governmental investment and the 95 million of middle class Brazilians to really fend for themselves.
Earning a little more than R$4000 per month propels you out of the “middle classes” of Brazilian life, along with most civil servants, Judges, politicians and the millionaires, making the so-called upper class a rather large section of the population who have 27% stolen from their salaries each month by the way of taxes.
Then we have the Social security: (Private sector workers)
“All individuals earning remuneration from a Brazilian source are subject to local social security tax, which is withheld by the payer. Contributions are levied on employees at rates ranging from 8% to 11%, depending on the level of remuneration, with a maximum required monthly contribution of R$430.78. Employers’ contributions are calculated at approximately 26.8% to 28.8% of monthly payroll, without limit.” – yet more money stolen?
Where does this money go? Not where it should, that’s for sure…
Maracana the world famous and loved stadium in Rio de Janeiro is yet another example of a waste of public funds, finally reopening at a cost of more than R$1 billion, 48.8% over budget and a few months late. That’s a lot of health and education right there! And along with the other stadia that were built or renovated and will be used for the Confederations Cup and World Cup, there are plenty of reasons to protest against the waste of public funds.
When it was announced that Brazil “won the right to host the World Cup”, back in 2007, with no opposition from South America, the then government made it very clear that no public funds would be used. (I remember the day well, it was a joyous occasion, Brazil partied hard on the wave of the good news.) now 6 years after that joyous event the Confederations Cup got under way amidst the jeers and boos of a tired population. Leaving their faithful leader unable, or unwilling, to give her prepared speech to officially open the tournament, simple announcing “I declare the 2013 Confederations Cup open”, with a look of betrayal and astonishment. Was she really that shocked?
Not one of the “promises”, made on the back of the 2007 announcement, were kept and not even closely. Eike Batista and his merry men have one hand on Maracana and almost certain to take over the lease. The cost of renovation was split 75%/25% between BNDES and the Government, remember how it was going to be “privately” funded?