Vote on Brazil pension overhaul to be delayed

Demonstrators adjust a cape on a doll depicting Brazil's President Michel Temer as a vampire during a protest against his proposed reforms to cut spending on pensions and loosen labor laws, in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

SAO PAULO - The head of Brazil's lower house of Congress says the government doesn't have enough votes to pass a social security overhaul seen as key to President Michel Temer's economic austerity agenda.

Chamber of Deputies president Rodrigo Maia told the O Globo newspaper Thursday that voting on the reform bill will likely be delayed one week. It was originally scheduled for Dec.6.

The government has said the pension reforms are crucial for reducing government debt and spending.

The changes proposed by the government would set a minimum retirement age, ending a system in which workers can retire based on the number of years worked. It would also require people to work more years to receive full benefits.

Labour unions have scheduled a general strike on Dec.5 to protest the reform.

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