Ecuador's president announces economic measures in wake of killer quake

2016-04-21 11:17
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa. (AFP/ Presidencia)

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa. (AFP/ Presidencia)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Quito - Ecuador's president has announced drastic economic measures, including an increase in some taxes and mandatory wage contributions, to deal with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that killed more than 500 people and injured over 5 000.

Rafael Correa, estimating that rebuilding could cost as much as $3bn, announced the measures in an address to the nation late on Wednesday.

Saturday's 7.8-magnitude quake was the worst to hit the South American country in decades, causing hundreds of buildings to collapse and damaging roads and other infrastructure in tourist areas.

The official death toll currently stands at 525, with 5 733 injured and 163 still missing.

Correa said the country's value added tax would increase from 12% to 14% for a year.

He also announced mandatory wage contributions, people earning $1 000 a month will have to pay the equivalent of a day's salary for a month, those earning $2 000, one day's worth for two months, up to those earning more than $5 000 who are being asked to contribute one day's salary for five months.

Anyone whose assets exceed $1m will have to pay a one-time contribution of 0.9 percent of their wealth, Correa added.

He also said unspecified state assets would be sold.

The earthquake's huge economic costs come as a further blow to Ecuador, which has already taken a big hit from the drop in global crude prices.

The country's exports have suffered in part because neighboring Colombia and Peru both devalued their currencies. That made their products cheaper for buyers in other countries, causing money to flow out of Ecuador and imports to roll back in.

The government had forecast the economy would expand by four percent last year but instead it grew by only 0.1%.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.