Published Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Government presents an
extra budget to Congress

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government submitted to Congress a request for the approval of an extra budget to cover its expenses, announced the Ministry of Finance.

According to the Ministry, this extra budget presents a reduction in expenses of approximately $562,611,191.

Also, it includes an increase in approximately $238,442,546 to attend the expenses that arise in the attention of the national emergency generated by the covid-19, said the Ministry.

The budget adds a proposal to reduce the working day schedule of public employees by 15% for one year. This reduction would apply to 35,000 public employees who have a gross monthly salary of approximately $2,500 or more. With the approval of this proposal, the government plans to save $222,489,195 in the payment of wages.

This reduction in working schedule would not apply to employees in public organizations classified as essential, such as police, firefighters, the Ministry of Health, Social Security, National Commission of Emergencies and jails administrations.

According to the government, adding the reduction in spending plus saving in wages would result in cutting its expenses of $785,100,387. "These savings have the goal of releasing the pressure on government finances as a result of the national emergency due to the pandemic. It would also help to avoid a higher level of fiscal deficit."

According to Elian Villegas, Minister of Finance, the budget contemplates the use of approximately $28,656,050 to finance the Aid Bond, so-called Bono Protejer, to help the people most affected by the economic-pandemic crisis.

Also, the budget includes approximately $77,193,630 that will be paid to Social Security due to the reduction of the public health institution income caused by the pandemic. It also adds an extra $5,146,242 for Social Security to grant more pensions to the elderly in poverty.

This additional budget orders that public institutions should reduce non-priority expenses as trips abroad, training activities, advertising, propaganda, among others.

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