Congress Set to Approve 2008 Budget
Legislators were likely to approve a $6.7 billion budget for 2008 in final debate as of press time.
The 2008 budget represents an 11.6% increase in spending in real terms over this year’s budget. Spending would increase for nearly all major government programs and ministries, except for the Ministry of Production and the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Among the biggest items on the budget are $1.56 billion for the Ministry of Education, $721 million for pensions and 364 million for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT). The government’s largest cost is $2.68 billion for payment of debt.
The Housing Ministry, which leads the Arias administration’s anti-poverty efforts, would see the greatest increase in its budget of all the government ministries. Its budget will jump nearly 400%, from $8.5 million to $42 million.
The budget to be passed by the Legislative Assembly is nearly identical to the one proposed by Finance Minister Guillermo Zuñiga in late August.
Legislators made several small changes, including an increase in resources for the Judicial Branch and for transportation and public works projects.
When the budget is out of the way, legislators can devote more time to the 11 laws required to implement the controversial Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA), which was approved in a national referendum last month.
You may be interested
Costa Rica previews new tower at Calderón Guardia HospitalAlejandro Zúñiga - July 9, 2020
Costa Rican authorities on Thursday previewed a new tower at Calderón Guardia Hospital in San José, which could be used…
News briefs: Costa Rica will handle land borders differently than airportsAlejandro Zúñiga - July 9, 2020
The coronavirus crisis has transformed life in Costa Rica, which has enacted measures to protect the capacity of its health…
Costa Rica extends tourist visas until November 18Alejandro Zúñiga - July 8, 2020
Costa Rica's Immigration Administration is offering foreigners extra flexibility as countries continue to restrict travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.…