Jenniffer González Presents Plan to Reduce Social Inequality Gap
New Progressive Party (NPP) Resident Commissioner candidate Jenniffer González presented several proposals she aspires to implement if elected next Nov. 8–focused on reducing Puerto Rico’s social inequality.
“My plan for Washington is simple, I will demand equality in all programs we have a right to as U.S. citizens. That includes social wellbeing programs, specifically those aimed to encourage employment. Puerto Rico needs and deserves equal treatment,” expressed González.
The NPP spokeswoman in the House of Representatives asserted she will work to reduce the poverty index and boost the island’s economy by increasing monthly payments and encouraging employment.
In order to achieve this, González proposed to fight for equality in various services, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC), Moving to Work (MTW), and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The EITC is a mechanism focused on boosting employment, providing economic aid to low-income families, thus discouraging dependence on the State. The application of this credit would represent $487 million to the island.
On the other hand, the CTC proposes to aid workers during the upbringing of their children under 17 years old. Workers with a minimum annual income of $3,000 may reduce contributive responsibility up to $1,000 per child. This benefit would bring forth an additional $85 million to Puerto Rico’s economy.
The MTW allows heads of family households under the public housing project to enter the workforce without risking to lose housing benefits. Lastly, the SSI provides economic assistance to people with low resources aged 65 or older, who don’t qualify for Social Security.
Puerto Rico has a 45% poverty incident, the highest in any U.S. jurisdiction. That number doubles the largest poverty percentage among all 50 states in 2014, Mississippi’s 21.5%. In addition, the Census Bureau indicates that Puerto Rico’s youth and children live below the poverty level.
Héctor Ferrer Reacts
Meanwhile, González’s rival from the Popular Democratic Party (PDP), Héctor Ferrer, indicated that various of his opponent’s proposals were already presented months ago as part of his government platform.
“Today, Jenniffer González acknowledged statehood isn’t necessary to implement measures that help the country overcome its present economic crisis. In fact, I thank her for adopting several proposals we have presented during the past months,” maintained Ferrer in written declarations.
Ferrer added the next Resident Commissioner must be proactive when launching measures to improve the economic crisis before the imposition of a Fiscal Oversight Board created by the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (Promesa).
“For this reason I have already drafted the project I will present to the U.S. Congress on Jan. 2017, to create the ‘Puerto Rico Economic Revitalization Commission,’ which will aim to defend the country’s interests while Promesa endures,” he concluded.