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Brazil Freezes $22.6 Billion in Spending After Raising Taxes

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Brazil is stepping up efforts to shrink a widening budget gap by cutting spending and raising taxes on banks.

The government is freezing 69.9 billion reais ($22.6 billion) in spending from this year’s budget, the Budget Ministry said on Friday. It made the announcement hours after the government said it would raise taxes on profits at banks, brokerages and credit-card processors to 20 percent from 15 percent.