Puerto Rico gov: Fiscal board’s austerity plan would affect gov’t services
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares said Tuesday that he will continue with his established public policy despite, he said, the fact that the draft of the fiscal plan presented by the fiscal oversight board for the government is an austerity plan.
“This is not a fiscal and economic development plan. This is an austerity plan. Our opinion is that the Fiscal Control Board has totally changed its approach and philosophy, not just the numbers. There are more aggressive cuts in the government. That has the consequences of affecting services and the most vulnerable,” the governor said on social media.
“These more aggressive cuts and a series of additional actions would result in a surplus of $30 billion in the next 16 years, money that would be available to the bondholders but would be detrimental to the most vulnerable and our population. This is not fair,” he added.
He assured that certain reforms to improve the government’s fiscal situation have been carried out.
“Let the people know very clearly that recognizing the historical challenges we face, the fiscal challenges that lie ahead, we will continue being consistent with the public policy that we have established because Puerto Rico does not deserve an austerity plan at this time. What Puerto Rico deserves is a transformation plan that does have as its base a component of fiscal commitment and economic development but whose main objective is the well-being of our people,” the governor added.
Rosselló made his remarks while the fiscal board held its 15th public meeting, in which the fiscal plans of the government and the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) would be certified.
On Monday, fiscal board Chairman José Carrión III announced the publication of drafts of the revised fiscal plans for the government and the UPR. He said the new fiscal plan projects a surplus up to fiscal year 2033, followed by deficits. The short-term surplus requires the timely and comprehensive implementation of structural reforms, fiscal measures and additional federal funds.
Carrión also announced adjustments to the UPR’s fiscal plan that the board said were achieved through a collaborative process. These included updating data based on lower enrollment, the fiscal impact of the measures and revised federal grant revenues.