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International News Archive
December 27 - December 31, 1999


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This page contains news for the period Monday, December 27, 1999 through Friday, December 31, 1999.





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Thursday, December 30, 1999

Unmarried women are straining Brazilian state's budget

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 beneficiaries.

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.


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