Brazil's Lula to prioritize tax reform early in govt, aide says

Brazil's President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends a meeting with Portugal's President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (not pictured) and Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi (not pictured), at Belem Presidential palace in Lisbon, Portugal, November 18, 2022. REUTERS/Rodrigo Antunes

SAO PAULO, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Brazil President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will give "full priority" to kicking off tax reform early in his administration, close aide and former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad said on Friday.

Haddad, who has recently emerged as the front-runner to become finance minister, said at an event hosted by banking lobby Febraban that Lula had decided that tax reform should be the top priority at the beginning of his new government.

Haddad, who was representing Lula at the event, added that Lula's plan is to first approve a reform bill already in Congress aimed at taxing consumer spending and later submit a new proposal to change taxes on income and assets.

Lula, a leftist, will take over the presidency from President Jair Bolsonaro on Jan. 1.

Haddad also said that Lula would look into quickly resuming trade agreements that have been "sitting on the shelf," including Mercosur's deal with the European Union.

On public expenses, he said that some social welfare programs should be improved with a "management shock" and others completely reformulated to meet their objectives.

Reporting by Andre Romani; Editing by Steven Grattan and Deepa Babington

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