By ANDREW FANASIA
THE high cost of living in the country is killing our people financially.
Member for Aoke Langalanga Mathew Wale uttered this in his debate of the Goods Tax (Amendment) Bill 2018.
“Food and transportation, electricity, water, accommodation, basic healthcare system, basic education and clothing are basic needs for human survival,” Mr Wale argued on the floor of the parliament.
“Families are however, struggling to make ends meet, as most of the economy does not pay a living wage, and families are unable to meet all necessities of life base on their little income,” he added.
“As a result we can all witness that the quality of life is not what we want to see and it must be the government’s responsibility to address these through robust and responsible policy.”
He said that taxation is a burden to the family, but pointed out no one is arguing we must not contribute.
“However, there is a strong case against the arbitrariness of the GST formula - its inclusion of customs duty as the base that GST is then calculated on.
“The inclusion represents an unjustified intrusion into family incomes, as it represents a cost of government that is unfairly levied on the people.
“This has to be changed.”
Meanwhile, Mr Wale said that the bill remedies a loophole in the current Act that allows some wholesalers to evade paying the correct amount of GST.
He called on MPs to support the bill, but argued the formula for calculating the GST betrays an arbitrariness that is inherently unfair to taxpayers.
“Government ought to review this formula to ensure that these considerations are given adequate weight in the on-going reforms to our taxation system,” Mr Wale concluded.