By Greg Williams
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.