Opposition says speak out against Income Tax……Break the silence!

Opposition Leader, Ishmael Kalsakau is calling on members of the public to voice their concerns against Income Tax adding he is ready to facilitate a demonstration in protest against the proposed tax.

Branding the policy as “evil” Mr Kalsakau said Income Tax will only affect the low income earners like market vendors but not corporate businesses and high income earners because they can still survive while your most needed portion is taken away.

The Opposition leader made these remarks in a historical public press conference inside Port Vila’s main market house during the busiest lunch hour of the week on Friday. This opposition weekly press conference is normally held at the opposition conference room at parliament house every Friday morning.

When responding to a question from the audience that people are moved by what he had said with regard to the impact and effects of Income Tax, and on the question of how he could help people voice their concerns, Mr Kalsakau said he is ready to facilitate by applying for a permit to demonstrate in protest against government’s planned Income Tax.

But he said in the event that a march is held, it must remain peaceful.

Mr Kalsakau said already in the last 35 years things have not improved and that Vanuatu has continuously experienced changes in government during the last 10 years, and Income Tax will not help but encourage investors to close their business, pack up and leave the country. 

An income tax is a rate charged on the income of individuals as well as business (companies or other legal entities). Individual income taxes often tax the total earning of the individual, while corporate tax often taxes net profit of the company. Different tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional or regressive.

The opposition leader further explained that the Income Tax is employed in a progressive manner, meaning as one earns a higher salary a higher proportion (percentage) of his income is taxed.

“When you make and earn more money, the government gets more from you. It is an initiative that will discourage people from working for a living and encourage laziness in the communities – a provision for economic immobilism.”

Mr Kalsakau called on members of the public to not remain silent but speak out in protest against the policy at its earliest stage.

“You must tell your MPs and the government you do not want income tax because it will eat into your income”, he said.

When asked what he would do with income tax if he gets into government, Mr Kalsakau said he would “wreck” the policy because he believed there are many other ways to generate government revenue.

Income taxes used in most countries around the world are characterized by a progressive scheme, but are not without criticism.


Harold Obed