Brazil's Bolsonaro eyes additional cash handout for female breadwinners under welfare program -sources

A supporter of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro looks at her mobile phone after polls were closed in Brazil's presidential election, in Brasilia, Brazil October 2, 2022. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

BRASILIA, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is seeking reelection on Oct. 30, is eyeing a 13th payment to women who are breadwinners under the welfare program Auxílio Brasil, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

The program currently grants a monthly cash handout of 600 reais ($115.94) to low-income families, whose value Bolsonaro has already promised to maintain for 2023.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, pointed out that the initiative would increase Bolsonaro's popularity with women and the poorest, two segments where he has faced resistance.

The right-wing incumbent lost to leftist former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the first presidential round. Still, Lula's margin was much smaller than opinion polls had anticipated, giving Bolsonaro political strength for the runoff.

The 13th payment would only be valid from next year, said one of the sources, stressing that the topic is still under discussion by the government.

The initiative should add to the advance payment of Auxilio Brasil this month, published Monday in the Official Gazette. With the measure, the government will ensure that all families have received the money before the runoff.

($1 = 5.1752 reais)

Reporting by Bernardo Caram and Ricardo Brito; Writing by Marcela Ayres; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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