Brazil Shaves Cost Of Gas And Electricity For Business
It’s fair to say the wonderful country of Brazil is already adept at a number of things: football, carnivals, beaches. Well, there’s now another one to add to that list – fiscal innovation. It’s not only Europe that’s suffering under the on-going effects of the financial collapse. Brazil – along with Russia, India and China, one of the so-called BRIC emerging economies – is on the edge of its own recession, as high taxes and infrastructural issues strangle the economic life out of the world’s 6th largest economy. So… what to do? Fix a pina colada and pay keepy-uppy on Copacabana Beach? Far from it. Instead, President Dilma Rousseff plans to give Brazil’s economy a kick up the proverbial with a hugely ambitious, and laudable move – a drastic price cut in gas and electricity for business and domestic markets. She describes it as “the biggest reduction in electricity rates that the country has ever seen” – a whopping 16% for domestic, and an even more mouth-watering 28% for business. Brazil has the planet’s third highest energy costs, and of course the immediate effect will be reductions in production costs for struggling industries like aluminium and petrochemicals. That will, in turn, lead to benefits for business and knock-on benefits to the consumer, thereby making Brazil itself more competitive and keeping a lid on inflationary influences. Brazil recently won the right to host both The Olympics and The World Cup. And they might be onto something of a winner here too. Perhaps the repercussions of this fiscal Rumba might be loud enough to reverberate around the corridors of Westminster. A few MPs may be tempted to test the starch in their shirts, to put a kink in their pinstripes. Perhaps George Osborne might even join in? Business energy price reductions to stimulate the economy? A cha cha cha!
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