(Adds details of past delay and election context)
BRASILIA, Sept 23 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government has no plans to raise taxes on beverages this year, a representative of the industry said on Tuesday after meeting Finance Minister Guido Mantega.
A new delay in plans to increase taxes on beers, soft drinks and other beverages could pile more pressure on the government finances already under strain after a series of tax breaks.
A finance ministry representative was not immediately available for comments.
President Dilma Rousseff has promised to rein in spending and reconstitute some tax breaks to improve the fiscal accounts, but her government has continued to give tax incentives to industries ahead of the October presidential elections.
Rousseff’s rivals Marina Silva and Aecio Neves accuse the leftist leader of relaxing the tough fiscal rules that helped bring stability to an economy plagued by crises just a few decades ago.
The government delayed the tax increase due in June for three months to avoid a spurt in prices during the month-long World Cup of soccer. Representatives of the national association of bars and restaurants said at the time that the increase could also result in the firing of thousands of workers.
Fernando Rodrigues de Barros, the head of the sector’s association known as Afrebras, said that Mantega told industry executives a finance ministry commission will propose a new tax model for beverages in early 2015.
The government expected to generate an extra 1.5 billion reais ($6.23 billion) with the tax increase during the second half of 2014, officials said in April.
A delay would be good news for local beverage makers such as Ambev, formally known as Cia de Bebidas das Americas SA . Ambev is a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Inbev SA , the world’s largest beer producer. (Reporting by Nestor Rabelo; Writing by Alonso Soto; Editing by David Gregorio and Lisa Shumaker)