Liberación wants to see cuts before voting on taxes

The opposition Partido Liberación Nacional gave a warning to the president Tuesday and said that its legislators demand that he show significant advances in cost-cutting before they will approve a new package of taxes.

The statement from the party’s members in the legislature noted that President Luis Guillermo Solís in a television speech Sunday asked lawmakers to approve the tax package.

“It would interest us to know what is the position of the government in terms of pensions, public employment and salaries, which are important, before saying that the taxes are going to be approved and above all to tell us, the Costa Ricans, how they will be used,” said Julio Rojas Astorga, head of the party’s legislative members in the prepared statement.

He said that lawmakers do not have all the responsibility for the eventual approval of taxes and the central government should give clear signals that there is a strategy to resolve the problems with public finance, he added.

The party leader noted that his group of lawmakers supports efforts to fight against tax evasion and smuggling. But for new taxes there needs to be a national dialogue, his statement said.

Under the last two presidents, both members of Liberación, public employment mushroomed. Lawmakers also have been embarrassed by television reports of large monthly pensions for certain retirees. They also have moved to cut pensions of some former legislators.

The country’s budget is half borrowed money, and the annual deficit is in the neighborhood of 5 percent of the gross domestic product.

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