In a stinging defeat for the government, Brazil's Chamber of Deputies yesterday voted against the proposed social security amendment, which will delay, if not defeat, efforts to reform the country's social security system in the near future.
The amendment would have linked benefits to length of contribution and age. Currently, benefits are tied to number of years worked.
The government failed by 14 votes to get the three-fifths majority of 308 votes needed in the lower house, in part because leftist legislators and labor unions claimed the government had betrayed them in recent negotiations to soften the imapct of the amendment on the retiring worker. By law, the government must now put up its original social security amendment for a vote, which will be far more difficult to get passed than the negotiated legislation. The government probably won't reintroduce the original amendment until after municipal elections in October.