In order to understand the possible new announcement by Rafael Greca (PSD) for the readjustment of tariffs which, as always, should co-opt the majority of the Curitiba City Council and trample critical voices, it is necessary to analyze what the 2022 tariff readjustment was, to understand what’s to come.
Well then, message 028 of March 31, 2022 sought to legitimize yet another brutal diversion of budgetary resources from Curitiba to public transport entrepreneurs in the capital.
The attempt to justify this transfer of BRL 174 million was the same as always. When in the years 2020/21 BRL 320 million were transferred, the justification was that it was to cover the gap between the value of the technical fee and the user fee.
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What happened after that transfer was that the fee jumped from R$4.50 to R$5.50 for the user and R$6.39 for the technical fee paid to entrepreneurs. The user tariff rose from 5.50 to 6.00 (10%), while the minimum wage was readjusted in the period (5%) and the technical tariff paid to the entrepreneur rose from R$ 6.39 to 7.05 reais .
According to URBS, with the drop in the number of passengers during the pandemic and with the BRL 60 million subsidy from the government of Paraná, it still does not cover the system deficit and will never cover it due to the concession contract full of irregularities and investigation of the Special Action Group for the Repression of Organized Crime of São Paulo (Gaeco) for fraud in the bidding, having filed a public civil action for nullity, which is being processed by the TJPR.
The strange thing about all that message from Mayor Rafael Greca is that there is no demand for compensation on the part of companies. Incredible as it may seem, it is a donation of millions without requiring absolutely nothing in return that benefits thousands of users and their families.
The Municipality of Araucária acted in a different way – not forgetting to criticize the attacks it promotes against civil servants and areas of occupation -, in order to negotiate the concession of a subsidy to public transport companies in the municipality.
To grant the subsidy, it required renegotiation of the contract, forcing companies to abandon the negotiation for the rate that they have no control and adopting the negotiation for the payment of the kilometer driven that it is possible to control.
The companies accepted the contractual modification to receive the subsidy and the tariff dropped for the user – from R$ 4.90 to R$ 1.70.
In Curitiba, on the contrary, the mayor offers more subsidy and the tariff goes up for the user, higher than inflation and wage increases, greatly harming workers.
The City Council, elected and representative of the people, in its majority, shamefully votes with the mayor and the businessmen without demanding absolutely nothing in return.
Society, immobilized, is amazed and paralyzed in the face of such an assault on public coffers, budgetary resources, which are lacking in other areas such as health, housing and sanitation.
To put an end to such legalized theft, it is enough for the Chamber, if in fact it represented the people, not to approve the transfer and demand, in return, the renegotiation, eliminating the device of the current contracts in judicial dispute in the TJPR, which requires compliance with the contractual device that determines coverage of the ” economic-financial imbalance”.
We must fight to oblige businessmen to accept the renegotiation of current contracts with lawsuits pending at the TJPR.
If we don’t do that, they will be demonstrating that they have commitments and submission only with the collective transport entrepreneurs of Curitiba. The path is that of the Frente Tarifa Zero, in which young people and popular movements are making important daily and political struggles.
*Lafaiete Neves, retired professor at UFPR, Dr. in Economics from UFPR and Member of the Board of the City of Curitiba (Concitiba).
**Opinions expressed in this text do not necessarily represent the position of the newspaper Brazil in fact.
Source: BdF Paraná
Editing: Peter Carrano
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