As expected, discussion at the legislature has now turned to the government’s shaky finances.
Lorelly Trejos Salas brought up the topic Tuesday during open discussion in the full legislature. She called the current financial situation unsustainable and noted that the budget deficit was getting worse and reaching the level of a national emergency.
The Heredia lawmaker noted that the deficit that had been 5.4 percent of the gross domestic product in 2013 has reached 6 percent this year and is expected to reach 6.5 percent next year. That means red ink totalling 6.5 percent of the value of all goods and services produced within the country in a year.
The lawmaker also noted that 42.7 percent of the 2014 national budget is financed with debt.
Ms. Trejos happens to be a member of the Partido Liberación Nacional, which has held the presidency for the last eight years. Such criticism of the handling of the national finances could be expected of lawmakers from other political parties. But the speech by Ms. Trejos suggests that the new group of her party’s lawmakers who took office May 1 are serious about attacking the deficit.
President Luis Guillermo Solís, before he was elected, said he would not ask for new taxes for at least two years into his term. But other members of his Acción Ciudadana party have suggested otherwise.
Both Acción Ciudadana and Liberación Nacional generally have the same philosophy on taxes in that they believe in taxing the wealth heavily and distributing the proceeds to the poor.