Brazil candidate Rousseff opposes taxing fortunes

* Brazil’s Rousseff steps back from hard-left proposals

* Says “no” to media control and shorter work week

* Seeks to win over centrist voters, investors

By Raymond Colitt and Fernando Exman

BRASILIA, July 21 (BestGrowthStock) – Brazil’s ruling party
candidate in October’s presidential election, Dilma Rousseff,
said on Wednesday she saw no benefit in taxing big fortunes as
some of her coalition allies have proposed.

Since the beginning of the race in April, Rousseff has been
trying to shed her hard-left image and court investors. She has
pledged continuity of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s
mostly market-friendly policies, which have helped accelerate
Brazil’s economy to growth of around 7 percent this year.

“There is no indication that taxing big fortunes results in
big benefits,” Rousseff told state-owned TV Brasil in an
interview to be broadcast later on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t always result in gains for society,” said
Rousseff, Lula’s former chief of staff.

Several hardliners in her center-left coalition have been
calling on Rousseff to include such a tax in her government
platform as a way to reduce the country’s large gap between
rich and poor more quickly.

Despite some progress due to fast economic growth and
social welfare programs, income gaps have narrowed only
marginally since Lula took office in January 2003.

Rousseff has been tied in opinion polls with former Sao
Paulo State Governor Jose Serra, who is preferred by some
investors for his extensive executive experience and
market-friendly centrist PSDB party.

Nicknamed “The Iron Lady,” former leftist militant Rousseff
distanced herself on Wednesday from a labor union proposal to
reduce the work week by four hours to 40 hours.

Industry leaders have opposed such a move, arguing it would
increase unemployment and the cost of doing business in a
country already losing its competitive position because of high
taxes and an expensive currency.

“Neither the executive nor the legislature can legislate on
a matter that has yet to mature in society,” she said when
asked about the proposed work week reduction.

Public sector labor unions are a traditional stronghold for
the Workers’ Party, or PT, founded by Lula in 1980.

But Rousseff must also meet demands from her more
conservative allies, including the centrist PMDB party.

In the interview with TV Brasil on Wednesday, she rejected
demands by some members of the PT to increase control over the
media, which they say is dominated by the country’s traditional
oligarchy. “I’m rigorously against press censorship … against
content control,” Rousseff said.

Stock Market Research
(Reporting by Fernando Exman; Writing by Raymond Colitt)

Brazil candidate Rousseff opposes taxing fortunes