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Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Stuck in Election Race, Plans Bigger Cash Handouts

  • He seeks to raise Auxilio Brasil payments to 600 reais
  • Government also mulls paying 1,000 reais a month to truckers
Jair Bolsonaro greets supporters in Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil, on June 18. 

Jair Bolsonaro greets supporters in Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil, on June 18. 

Photographer: Ricardo Oliveira/AFP/Getty Images
Updated on

President Jair Bolsonaro is considering increasing monthly stipends paid to about 18 million poor Brazilian families as opinion polls show his re-election campaign failing to close the gap with front-runner Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva less than four months before the vote.

The idea is to boost payments made through a cash transfer program known as Auxilio Brasil to 600 reais ($116) from the current 400 reais until year-end, Carlos Portinho, the government leader in the senate, told reporters on Thursday. In order to fund the plan, the administration would abandon a proposal to make up for revenue losses of states that agree to scrap a so-called ICMS tax on items such as diesel and cooking gas, he added.