Fuel tax will burden the poor, lawmaker says
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