Brazil's Bolsonaro will not rule out more pandemic aid payments

BRASILIA, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday told supporters he did not rule out extending emergency pandemic aid payments to Brazilians past the end of the year, a move that would prove popular among poor Brazilians, but not among investors.

“We’re preparing for everything, but we have to wait for certain things to happen,” Bolsonaro said outside the presidential palace in Brasilia, when asked about the possibility of extending the payments, designed to help Brazilians weather the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I hope that it’s not necessary because the signs are pointing to the economy taking off and we won’t have new lockdowns in Brazil,” he added.

In the first months of the pandemic in Brazil, the government offered aid payments of 600 reais ($112) per month, which were reduced to 300 reais per month starting in September.

The payments boosted Bolsonaro’s popularity, while also concerning many government officials and investors about the souring of the government’s finances.

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