Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bayan hits Aquino administration for 'washing hands' on tollway VAT

MANILA, Philippines – Militant group Bayan scored the Aquino administration for saying that the value-added tax (VAT) on toll that will take effect on Monday is an old law.

"The Aquino government cannot hide behind the feeble defense that the VAT is an Arroyo-era law that needs to be implemented. The present government has all the powers to stem the implementation of onerous taxation and spare the people from further hardship," Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said.

Aside from the impending toll hike, the government is also set to increase the fare of the Metro Rail Transit, Reyes noted.

He said revenues from the VAT on toll fees will not go to poverty alleviation programs, but rather to paying off government debts incurred over the last nine years.

“The claim of (Press) Sec. (Edwin) Lacierda that poverty alleviation programs will be the result of additional taxes is something we’ve heard before. That was the same promise given by Arroyo when she first implemented the EVAT (expanded value added tax),” Reyes said.

“The reality is that for every P10 raised by government, P6 goes to debt spending. That is how it has been for some time now. The new government doesn’t seem to be departing from that,” he added. - By Dennis Carcamo (Philstar News Service,


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