WHEN it comes to taxes, Liberal Party vice presidential bet and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo does not agree with President Benigno Aquino 3rd who has junked proposals to lower income taxes and adjust the value-added tax.
Robredo said the tax system should be overhauled because it is “unfair” and outdated.
The lawmaker in a television interview said the lower income tax groups usually have to suffer the burden while those in the upper brackets skirt around tax laws.
“The ordinary government employees and private sector employees who only depend on their salaries are those who are heavily taxed,” she said in an interview over ANC.
She stressed that “those who earn more are those who will have to bear the burden” and not the other way around.
In shooting down calls for lower taxes for the poor, Aquino explained that reducing them will lead to fewer government collections and widen deficits. He also expressed the fear that credit ratio agencies’ trust would be dampened.
“So ang tanong, makakabuti ba ‘yung pagbababa ng income tax level sa mga kababayan natin? At ako’y hindi kumbinsido sa ngayon,” Aquino told reporters during a recent visit to Iloilo province.
With regard to proposals to increase VAT, he said it will not be beneficial since it will result in skyrocketing prices of commodities.
But Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda on Wednesday said there is “no debate that we need to do tax reform.”
“Everybody is in favor of tax reform. The tax reform that we did was done in 1997 and certainly we need to do a tax reform,” the official said in a press briefing when asked to react on the seeming clash between Aquino and the LP’s chosen VP bet on the issue of taxation.
“What is the position of government? The position of government is: ‘Let’s do a comprehensive tax reform’ so there’s no debate. There’s no debate that we need to reform the Tax Reform Act,” he pointed out.
Lacierda added that even Finance Secretary Secretary Purisima was convinced that there must be a new comprehensive tax reform law.