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Puerto Rico Oversight Board Warns Island Can't Pay Vital Services

category international | economics and finance | news report author Wednesday March 08, 2017 20:53author by Greg Williams Report this post to the editors

The Financial Oversight and Management Board of Puerto Rico warns "the Commonwealth soon will be unable to pay essential services, including pensions, education, healthcare and public safety,"‎ as soon as June.

The Financial Oversight and Management Board of Puerto Rico warns "the Commonwealth soon will be unable to pay essential services, including pensions, education, healthcare and public safety,"‎ as soon as June. The warning came in a letter sent from the oversight board as a response to the Governor's recent fiscal plan.

"Puerto Rico's situation is getting worse, noted Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. LeCompte testified on Puerto Rico's debt to the board and to Congress last year. "The island needs to see significant debt relief as soon as possible."

The board calls for other extensive cost saving measures in its letter, including substantial furloughs of government employees and contract renegotiation.

"Puerto Rico cannot cut its way out of this crisis," warned LeCompte. "The island needs substantial debt restructuring combined with Congress following through on health care and child tax benefit recommendations."

In December, a bipartisan Congressional task force recommended increasing Medicare funding and extending 3 billion dollars in child tax benefits for people on the island.

Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 650 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA wins critical global financial reforms and won more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org

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