BRASILIA Feb 5 Brazilian President Dilma
Rousseff's government plans to eliminate all federal taxes on
staple foods, the latest in a series of tax cuts aimed at
Rousseff said on a radio talk show on Tuesday that federal
taxes have already been scrapped for rice and beans, the
Brazilian worker's staple meal, but other basic foodstuffs will
also be exempted from taxation.
"These taxes must be removed, especially on the basic food
basket," Rousseff said on a local radio station in Parana state.
Tax cuts and exemptions have been a prime tool used by
Rousseff's economic team to revive stagnant economic growth and
control inflation. Economists say inflation is speeding up after
ending 2012 at 5.8 percent.
The government will update the list of 13 products in the
basket of goods deemed essential for a Brazilian family to live
for a month, which has not changed for years, she said. Besides
rice and beans, it includes bread, butter, meat, milk, coffee,
sugar, oil, potatoes, tomatoes, bananas and manioc flower.
"Since the basic basket law is so old, we are updating the
list of products so that we can eliminate all federal taxes on
them," Rousseff said.
She said the federal government had not been able to
convince state governments to join the move by scrapping their
own additional local taxes on staples.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Peter Murphy and Jim