Puerto Rico Oversight Board approves Rossello’s fiscal plan
The Fiscal Management & Oversight Board for Puerto Rico has backed the fiscal plan proposed by governor Ricardo Rossello with a few added conditions, on Monday March 14th. The final plan involves tax overhauls, pension-spending cuts, and possible elimination of Christmas bonuses, all with the goal of saving money. The cuts are in order to begin to pay off the $70 billion public debt, and decrease the 45% unemployment rate.
This wasn’t the first plan proposed by the new governor, but the first one was rejected, after being considered too optimistic by the board. The board and the government had been discussing measures to be taken under the new plan, with the board suggesting emergency debt management and fiscal measures like furloughs and pay cuts, and the government believing that they were unnecessary. The new plan is a compromise between the two bodies.
The plan has been described as requiring everyone to make sacrifices. It will be used to help determine the fiscal policy of Puerto Rico for the next ten years. As it was approved, the plan calls for the government to impose employee furloughs, cut pensions, and remove bonuses should the government fail to meet the liquidity thresholds it established as goals, although Governor Rossello aims to avoid placing too much of the hardship on the working people within Puerto Rico. Many have praised the plan, saying that it does not sugarcoat the situation, and if followed, sets up Puerto Rico for a bright future.