San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Gov’t $130 Million In Debt This Year

THE central government’s deficit registeredat $130 million for the first fourmonths of 2005, with total income of$851 million and expenditures of $981million, the wire service ACAN-EFEreported.The total income, $849 million ofwhich came from taxes, was 6.2% higherthan the income collected during the sameperiod last year, according to the FinanceMinistry.“We have made an effort to improvetax collection and combat evasion,” saidFinance Minister Federico Carrillo.“Nevertheless, our expenditures are consumingthese resources in their entirety.”Those expenditures prompted a public,albeit fairly amicable, disagreementbetween Carrillo and President AbelPacheco this week. After Carrillo said thegovernment cannot afford the scheduledsecond-semester salary raise for publicemployees, Pacheco contradicted the ministeron Monday.“There are (resources). What’s happeningis that Federico is a guy who worriesa lot,” Pacheco told the daily LaNación.Carrillo told the daily he hoped to sitdown with the President next week to discussthe issue.Of expenditures from January-April,$308 million went to public-sectorsalaries; $314 million to paying intereston the national debt; $67 million to paymentsof the exterior debt; and $292 millionto other expenses, ACAN-EFEreported.

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