April 30, 2018 / 10:03 PM / 5 months ago

Brazil boosts benefits paid under flagship social program

SAO PAULO, April 30 (Reuters) - Benefits paid under Brazil’s top social assistance program, the Bolsa Família, will be increased this summer, the government said on Monday.

President Michel Temer, in a video published on his official Twitter account earlier, had said benefits under the Bolsa Família, or Family Grant, would be increased, but he did not specify by how much.

The government said in a statement that benefits under the program would be increased by 5.67 percent effective from July. The government will add 684 million reais ($195 million) to the program’s budget to cover the increase.

The Family Grant, a lauded welfare program that has been copied by several developing nations, currently gives impoverished families a monthly allowance of up to 336 reais ($103). It is also seen as an important tool to curry favor with poor and working class voters, especially heading into October’s general election.

The government said in November it planned to increase the welfare program’s budget, which around 14 million families receive. ($1 = 3.5069 reais) (Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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