Government ready to disburse Christmas bonuses

The government that is very skilled in giving away other people’s money will give away some of its own next week.

The national treasury will deposit an estimated $352 million in colons to the accounts of 184,154 employees and other persons.  This is the 2015 aguinaldos.

Private enterprise has to make these payments, too, but the government disbursement, which averages about $1,800 a person, always is announced. This year it is 5.71 percent more than last year, according to the Ministerio de Hacienda. The money will be paid from borrowed funds because the national budget is about half borrowed money.

Aguinaldos represent a twelfth of what an employee or other persons earned since last Dec. 1. Employees love the practice, but employers do not.

Those on pensions, members of boards of directors and a long list of other persons who are not government employees also get aguinaldos.

In the private sector, some expats who are legally obligated to make support payments to children and ex-spouses are surprised that they, too, must pay aguinaldos.

Aguinaldos are not taxed or have deductions.

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