Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Puerto Rico Governor Says Years Needed to Fix Island Budget

  • Rossello says swift, deep spending cuts will worsen crisis
  • Even with steps, island can pay a fraction of debts, he says
Bloomberg business news

Puerto Rico Governor on Budget Gap, Creditor Negotiations

Updated on

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said the government needs as long as five years to close a more than $7 billion budget shortfall, saying the deep spending cuts envisioned by the island’s federal overseers would deal a devastating blow to an already sputtering economy.

Rossello’s comments, made in an interview in Washington, signal a potential rift with the U.S. oversight board that was given broad power over Puerto Rico’s finances after it defaulted on a growing share of its $70 billion of debt. With his administration preparing to submit fiscal plans to the board next week, he estimated it will take three to five years to erase the government’s chronic deficits, compared with the two-year time frame initially proposed by the board.