Brazil’s Bolsonaro hikes finance tax to pay for pandemic welfare program


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RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday signed a decree to raise taxes on financial transactions for three months to pay for the so-called Auxílio Brasil pandemic welfare program.

His office said it expects the higher IOF tax, which is charged on credit, foreign exchange, insurance transactions, or bonds or securities, to generate 2.14 billion reais ($407.13 million). It did not say by how much it would raise the IOF.

The Auxílio Brasil program is designed to protect some of Brazil’s poorest families from the economic harm caused by the coronavirus pandemic. ($1 = 5.2563 reais) (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter Editing by Chris Reese)