Next president should eradicate corruption and set proper budget priorities instead of increasing VAT – Maza

Apr. 10, 2010

“Eradicating the age-old problem in corruption and setting proper budget priorities are what the next administration should pay attention to in order to solve the country’s fiscal problem, instead of increasing the tax and thereby adding burden to the Filipino people.”

This was the statement of Makabayan-Nacionalista senatorial candidate Liza Maza slamming Finance Secretary Margarito Teves’ proposal for the next Congress to raise Value Added Tax (VAT) from 12 percent to 15 percent.

“Even if the government imposes higher tax rates and improves its collection, as long as corruption remains in all levels of bureaucracy, and the government keeps allocating large sections of the country’s budget to unnecessary projects, the Filipino people’s money will keep on going to waste,” Maza said.

Maza also said that the proposed three percent VAT increase will only add burden to the people who are already struggling to have decent lives.

“VAT is passed on to end-consumers, majority of whom were those already living below the poverty line and whose money is not even enough to buy three meals a day. Sec. Teves’ proposal, coupled with the never-ending increase in the costs of basic necessities, will only further depreciate the Filipinos’ hard-earned peso,” Maza said.

Maza pointed out that the minimum wage rates in the National Capital Region which averages P382 cannot keep up with the family living wage which stood at around P917, according to the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC).

Maza also said that the proposal would defeat the purpose of Republic Act No. 9504 or the law granting tax exemptions to minimum wage earners, which was aimed at providing financial relief to taxpayers.

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