(Adds statement from President Temer's press office)
BRASILIA Oct 7 Brazil's Prosecutor-General's
Office on Friday questioned the constitutionality of President
Michel Temer's proposed public spending cap and recommended that
Congress shelve the austerity measures.
The office said in a statement the proposal interferes with
the autonomy of other federal powers and would weaken the
country's judicial system, handicapping efforts to combat
"The proposal invades the judicial system budgeting
competence drastically, risking to impact the exercise of its
constitutional and institutional functions," said the statement.
The unprecedented constitutional amendment, which limits the
growth of federal spending to the rate of inflation for 20
years, is aimed at gradually closing a yawning budget gap that
topped 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) last year.
It is the first of a series of austerity measures to assuage
market concerns that the once-booming economy, which was
stripped of its investment-grade rating last year, could be
hurtling toward a debt crisis.
A lower house committee approved the proposal on Thursday,
handing President Michel Temer an initial victory on the battle
to pass the amendment.
Its approval requires two votes in the plenary of the lower
house and two more in the Senate, needing a three-fifths
majority in each.
A first vote in the full lower house chamber should take
place early next week.
President Michel Temer's press office said in a statement
late on Friday that the spending caps proposal treats all powers
with the same criteria and equal proportions regarding budget
"There is no discriminatory treatment that could be
interpreted as a violation of powers separation principle," it
The Prosecutor-General Office also said it was worried that
the spending limits could affect a major investigation into
corruption in Brazil and asked that costs with that type of work
be left out of the spending limits.
Rodrigo Janot, the Prosecutor-General, leads the ongoing
probe into Brazil's biggest corruption scandal centered at
state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle, Marcelo Teixeira and Lisandra
Paraguassu; Editing by James Dalgleish and Lisa Shumaker)