Fuel tax will bur­den the poor, law­maker says

Sun.Star Pampanga - - BUSINESS! -

While lower in­come taxes will bring re­lief to the mid­dle class, re­cov­er­ing rev­enue losses through pe­tro­leum du­ties will un­nec­es­sar­ily bur­den the poor, an op­po­si­tion law­maker said Wed­nes­day.

Cit­ing gov­ern­ment data, 80 per­cent of diesel users are pub­lic util­ity ve­hi­cles, House Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo told ANC's "Head­start."

Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte's eco­nomic team has ar­gued that a diesel tax will not be anti poor, as low oil prices in the world mar­ket will cush­ion its im­pact and the rich also use diesel aside from ga­so­line.

The gov­ern­ment should in­stead im­prove col­lec­tions, pur­sue roughly P70-tril­lion in tax eva­sion cases, and crack down on smug­gling that re­sults in P200 mil­lion in an­nual losses, Quimbo sai d.

"You’re go­ing to trans­fer the tax bur­den from the suf­fer­ing mid­dle class and you’re go­ing to trans­fer it to the lower class, par­tic­u­larly the poor," Quimbo said.

"What we’re say­ing is that you do not ad­dress tax leak­ages, which is the big­gest prob­lem of the coun­try, by com­ing up with new taxes. You ad­dress it by plug­ging the leaks," he added.

Duterte has shown "great po­lit­i­cal will" in his war on drugs and he can show the same fer­vor against cor­rup­tion, the law­maker said.

Quimbo said 75 per­cent of ship­ments checked by cus­toms passes through only four ports: Batan­gas, Cebu, the Port of Manila, and the Manila In­ter­na­tional Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal or the South and North Har­bor.

"There are only four places. If we can guard these four places, and en­sure that we put the right peo­ple, we’re gonna get the right rev­enue," he said. - ab­scbn

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