NEWS IN ENGLISH – New Brazilian middle class has monthly income between R$291 and R$1,019

30/05/2012 10:42

Elaine Patricia Cruz         Reporter Agência Brasil

São Paulo – The Brazilian government has a new definition for the Brazilian middle class. A commission of specialists at the Secretariat of Strategic Affairs (“SAE”), housed in the presidency, using family income as the basic metric, defines the new middle class as individuals living in a family unit with per capita monthly income between R$291 and R$1,091.

According to Ricardo Paes de Barros, the secretary of Strategic Action at SAE, “Anyone with per capita income in this bracket will be considered middle class.”

The commission divided the new middle class into three groups: the lower middle class, with incomes between R$291 and R$441; the middle middle class with incomes between R$441 and R$641; and, the upper middle class with incomes above R$641, but less than R$1,019.

“This is an asset for Brazilian society. The country’s middle class represents more than half the population. Now that it has a standardized definition, it will be accepted by all and that will make the discussion easier about its thoughts, desires and hopes, what it does and its consumption patterns,” declared Barros.

The commission arrived at its definition by taking into consideration living expenses and spending patterns (both necessary and superfluous items). They also factored in vulnerability, that is, the chances of falling back into poverty.

Definition in hand, the commission is now studying public policy alternatives for this middle class. One objective is to reduce job turnover and increase the level of skills among middle class workers.

“We want to build longer lasting labor relations,” explained the secretary. “We will implement continuing educational policies for workers with jobs, giving them access to insurance, financial education and other policies specifically aimed at different segments of the middle class.”

According to the head of the SAE, minister Moreira Franco, the next step in the commission’s work is to create instruments for a debate and reflection on the definition. A survey, Voices of the Middle Class (“Vozes da Classe media”) will seek to record aspirations and the behavior of the people in this social class.

Allen Bennett – translator The News in English

Link - Nova classe média brasileira tem renda entre R$ 291 e R$ 1.019 familiar per capita, define governo