Washington DC - Judge Laura Taylor Swain approved a deal to restructure $17 billion of Puerto Rico's $72 billion debt on Monday. Court approval was the last hurdle creditors and the island's oversight board needed for a plan to address sales tax backed debt or "COFINA" debt.
"We are worried that not enough debt is being cut and that Puerto Rico's people are carrying heavy austerity burdens," said Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte, who monitors Puerto Rico's debt. "The math isn't adding up. If plans to restructure the remaining debt fail to cut the majority of the island's debt load, Puerto Rico can't see sustained economic recovery and growth."
The ruling followed two days of hearings and weeks of deliberation. In Swain's "COFINA" ruling, she notes objections to the debt plan, such as sustainability and the lack of a complete debt audit.
"Nearly six out of ten kids live in poverty in Puerto Rico and if future debt deals don't cut enough debt, we won't address the child poverty epidemic on the island," noted LeCompte, who serves on United Nation finance expert groups.