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Levy Scores Win as Brazil Lawmakers Back Cuts to Labor Perks

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Brazil’s lower house passed reductions to labor benefits that Finance Minister Joaquim Levy proposed to shore up public accounts. The vote is the first step in winning congressional approval for measures to avert a credit downgrade.

Lawmakers on Wednesday passed a modified version of the bill that provides less savings than Levy had originally wanted. The legislation makes it harder for Brazilians to access unemployment insurance. The lower house approved the basic text of the bill in a 252-227 vote. On Thursday legislators rejected all amendments that threatened to water down the bill.