Brazil: The unreality of promoting the SDGs without a sufficient budget

Austerity is a major concern in the report of Brazil. After over a decade of meaningful progress in tackling poverty through public investments in health, education and social protection, constitutional amendment 95/2016 (CA 95), known as the “Expenditure Rule”, came into force in 2017, freezing real public spending for 20 years. “By constitutionalizing austerity in this way”, comments the report by INESC, “any future elected governments will be prevented from democratically determining the size of human rights and basic needs investments.”

Rule CA 95 has already begun to “disproportionately affect disadvantaged groups” as “significant resources are diverted from social programmes towards debt service payments”. These fiscal decisions “put at risk the basic social and economic rights of millions of Brazilians, including the rights to food, health and education, the implementation of the SDGs, while exacerbating gender, racial and economic inequalities”. They could also amount to a massive violation of social and economic rights, since “the Brazilian government has not demonstrated that EC 95 was necessary, proportionate and a last-resort measure, nor that less restrictive alternative measures have been explored and analysed.” In fact, INESC, CESR and Oxfam argue that alternatives – such as more progressive taxation and tackling tax abuses – are readily available.

Source: Brazil National Report 2018.