Solís praises economy in pitch for new taxes during television speech

President Luis Guillermo Solís took credit Sunday night for improvements in the national economy and said they were due to what the central government did last year.

The real purpose of his talk to the nation was to continue to push for action on the package of new taxes that lawmakers are considering.

Solís said the most important job ahead is to reduce the national deficit, which may grow to be 8.5 percent of the gross domestic product by 2018. He said that this would create a crisis for a new president and said the interest rate would increase and there would be cutbacks in social programs and even firings.

He said confronting this problem was a patriotic duty because

otherwise the next government would have to find solutions that are more costly and more painful.

He maintained that the improvements in the economy show that the country is on the correct path.

He said that the Banco Central reports increases in economic activity for seven months in a row and that inflation is lower than at any time in the last 40 years.

Tax collections are up 10 percent, he said, noting that this was more than the increase in expenses.

The central government’s proposal for a value-added tax of 15 percent plus various other levies are stalled in the legislature. Some lawmakers said they want the central government to make significant cuts in expenses.

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