New Brazil law uses oil royalties to fund education, health care

August 21, 2013
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Oil Royalties to Fund Educ. and Health Care

The citizen protests in Brazil features outrage over a lack of funding for the health care and education systems. Making matters worse is that the government is shelling over piles of cash to fund the upcoming World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. Over the last few months, residents have taken to the streets to show their outrage and legislators are finally listening.

It was announced this week that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is expected to sign a bill into law that is considered a “historic victory.” It is a plan to exploit the country’s oil discoveries through domestic and foreign partnerships which will bring in royalties of between $150-300 billion over the next 35 years. The new bill will take 75 percent of that money and put it toward funding public education, while the remaining 25 percent will be used for the national health care system. Next year that royalties will equal $800 million.

There are some who question whether the money will actually be used in the ways that it has been declared. This is because of the history of corruption within the government. Despite this, President Dilma sees this as a positive step.

“For me and my government education is the principal pillar to transform Brazil into a great nation, assuring that our people are freed from poverty,” Dilma said in a radio address.

This issue has been a focal point of the protests that started back in June and the bill is a direct result of that. It was proposed on July and passed by the Senate. It just passed through the lower house last week.

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