President Luis Guillermo Solís soon will send to lawmakers a proposal for a value-added tax expected to be 15 percent.
The proposal is certain to generate a lot of sharp debate because the president just managed to have passed a 2015 budget that is 19 percent greater than the current year’s. The president rejected calls for modest cuts totaling 3.8 percent.
Many observers consider the new budget business as usual with the country borrowing vast sums to support the government bureaucracy. Some 43 percent of the approved budget will come from borrowing, and this will add to the national deficit.
Solís also is beginning to assume the trappings of an imperial president. A local television station reported Tuesday night that he has been using a King Air aircraft for his foreign flights. That was an aircraft confiscated from drug smugglers and turned over to security ministry officials.
Solís has flown to Bogotá on the craft, the station said, estimated in the cost at $75,000. Prior presidents took commercial jets, except for Laura Chinchilla Miranda, who got into public relations trouble when she accepted fights on an aircraft owned by a company with dubious activities.
The Beechcraft King Air is valued at about $3.4 million. When it went into services with the security ministry in October, no mention was made of it being used by the president. The craft was supposed to be used for emergency medical flights and fighting the drug trade.
The president also is known to be considering trying to overturn a veto by Ms. Chinchilla of a labor reform that would permit strikes by public agencies. That seems to be a shortcut in lieu of presenting a similar bill for legislative action.