A story published today by Reuters says that
staying single definitely has its advantages in parts of Brazil.
Just ask the 18,000 unmarried daughters of deceased civil servants
in a Brazilian state, who this week maintained their right to receive life-time pensions,
officials said Thursday.
Opposition parties in Rio Grande do Sul refused to vote on a
government plan to help the bankrupt social security system by limiting the perk to
unemployed single daughters, with no job or income.
"We want to cut the pensions of those people who are fully
active and have means to sustain themselves,'' said Eliezer Pacheco, president of the
State Social Security Institute.
Among the 18,000 beneficiaries are 2,800 state employees, including
judges and public defence lawyers.
The government did, however, get the state assembly's approval to
stop the entry of new daughters in the scheme, which could have meant 30,000 new
The privilege goes back a long way, Pacheco said, but the scheme
today is based on a 1982 law. ``It's not that old, you see.''
It drains some 7 million reais ($3.9 million) each month from the
coffers of Brazil's southernmost state, settled by German, Italian and Portuguese
immigrants last century.
One daughter receives a monthly pension of 13,343 reais ($7,400),
nearly twice the salary of leftist state governor Olivio Dutra, while several earn as much
as the governor at 7,000 reais ($3,900).
Pacheco said the government will try again in February to pare the
privileges for the single daughters.