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How can we do away with the super-salaries and benefits of Brazilian politicians?

Members of Congress in Brazil earn:

  • A monthly salary of R$ 33,763, paid 14 times a year
  • Monthly living assistance of R$ 4,253
  • A budget of R$ 92,000 per month to support up to 25 employees
  • R$ 30,416 to R$ 45,240 per month for food, auto, office rent, etc.
  • Plus other benefits

That’s a lot of money to earn in a country where a salary above R$ 17,600 puts you in the very wealthiest category of earners, those of Classe A.

A 2013 analysis by The Economist placed the earnings of Brazilian members of Congress fifth highest among 29 countries, higher than countries such as: Canada, Japan, Norway, Germany, Israel, the UK, Sweden, France and Spain.

Not to mention the fact that many Brazilian politicians take advantage of their privileged positions to illegally line their pockets.

So, how to change this? Members of Congress need to vote to reduce their own salaries. Hard to imagine this happening, and only conceivable through public outcry and sustained public pressure for the reduction to occur.