The Brazilian Senate approved on Wednesday (7th) a pay raise to the Supreme Court justices. The proposed increase in their monthly wages, from R$ 33,700 (US$ 9,000) to R$ 39,300 (US$ 10,500), still needs President Michel Temer's sanction. But the raise could cost the public finances R$ 4 billion (U$ 1 billion) more per year, according to the House and the Senate's Budget Committees.
A pay raise for the Judiciary will have a snowball effect since their salaries act as the cap for all civil servants' wages. Also, some categories have their salaries tied to the magistrates'.
The raise was one of the challenges that the president-elect Jair Bolsonaro had to face in the Congress this week.
Before the Senate decision, Bolsonaro had said that now was not the moment to give the Judiciary a pay raise. "We are finishing the year with a budget deficit, we will start next year also with a budget deficit," said Bolsonaro, after leaving a meeting with Air Force officials, in Brasilia.
On Tuesday (6th), after a meeting with president Michel Temer and Supreme Court Justice Dias Toffoli, president of the Senate Eunício Oliveria approved a request to include the matter on Wednesday's plenary.
The pay raise bill had already been approved by the House and had been waiting for a Senate decision since 2016.
Translated by NATASHA MADOV