Finance ministry going slow on proposed new taxes

The finance ministry is backing away from any idea that new tax laws are ready to be introduced to lawmakers.

In a brief announcement Wednesday Edgar Ayales, the minister, was quoted as saying that what has been prepared is an agenda for discussion to initiate a national dialogue on the financial problems of the government.

The goal is to identify actions needed to solve the current unbalanced financial system, the statement said.

The minister is convening a number of experts for the discussion.

This is the second national dialogue since July. President Laura Chinchilla announced then that July, August and October will be time for what she calls a national dialogue on the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. Casa Presidencial said it seeks the opinions of everyone from health workers to patients on the future of the Caja.

The central government has set up a Facebook page, a Web site and a special telephone number for citizens to express their views. The results will be compiled by December, said Casa Presidencial.

Ayales is expected to outline his plans for a dialogue today. His staffers have been hard at work for months creating what is now being called a menu, a list of options that will be the basis for discussion.

A national dialogue is likely to attract those who profit by the government spending at the expense of those who have to pay the bills. Nearly half of the national budget is borrowed money to support the extensive government social programs, including the Caja.

In three and a half months, a new president will be elected as well as a new legislature. These are the individuals who will be left with the financial problems.

Some consider the Ministerio de Hacienda action to be public relations, a way to say that learned individuals helped draft a tax package.

The  Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados already has issued a statement under the heading “We don’t want, we can’t and we ought not pay more taxes!”

The association of mostly public employee unions has its own opinions, and that includes attacking what is being called the inequality of incomes and possessions. The views were contained in a news story Wednesday HERE!

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