San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

President Chinchilla announces alternate economic measures

President Laura Chinchilla on Wednesday announced a series of measures to be implemented due to the uncertainty of the approval of the Fiscal Plan project.

Chinchilla said these additional measures are being taken to contain the deficit without “sacrificing the level of investment the country has achieved in social issues and road infrastructure.”

“We already cut from non-priority expenditures. We’ve frozen the salaries [over ¢3 million] of ministers, vice ministers, chief executives and directors of public institutions, and of course, the salary of my vice presidents and my own,” she said.

The additional measures announced by Chinchilla are:

1. Creation of an electronic invoice to ensure payment of sales tax.

2. Elimination of tax exemptions enjoyed by many luxury goods.

3. Sale of real estate owned by the government.

She also said that she is sending a new bill of “efficient management of public expenditure” to the Legislative Assembly, which includes measures like:

-Salary and pension rate freezes.

-Freezing of the diets on Board Directors.

-Reduction of political party financing.

-Elimination of exemptions on remittances of profits abroad.

-Authorization for the transfer of surpluses and other resources from the rest of the Central Government public sector.

-Authorization for public entities to charge for certain non-essential services.

-The establishment of fiscal rules to contain expenditure growth.

Chinchilla stated that these measures will not solve the fiscal problem, but “they aim to contain the effects of delaying the approval of laws to modernize the tax structure of the country.”

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