Fallout over 2% tax

The government's idea of a “voluntary” additional tax to fund drought-relief efforts has gone down like a lead balloon.

24 May 2019 | Economics

Political parties and analysts have called on the government to abandon a plan to introduce a “voluntary” 2% tax to fund drought relief.

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila is set to meet labour unions today to discuss the tax.

If implemented, all salary earners will be required to pay a one-off tax of 2% of their basic salaries.

Asked what government will do if its appeal does not yield the desired results, finance minister Calle Schlettwein said legal instruments are available.

“Of course all policy options are on the table which are needed to step up the revenue to satisfy the needs of our citizens. We are not begging to get off the hook; we believe in individual responsibility. If that does not work there are legal instruments that are available,” he said.

Schlettwein said the response from Namibians to the 2% voluntary contribution is a sad indication that we have become a society that has lost its compassion and appreciation of solidarity and the concept of an unequal society.

“It looks like we changed into a materialist one, which has lost that desire to make a valuable contribution to those who do not have enough,” he said.

He also said government realised that in an economy which is under pressure, and where growth has disappeared, tax reform is not the most stable way to generate revenue.

The finance minister added they hope to collect between N$500 and N$600 million from the civil servants alone, based on the current wage bill.

Critics called on the government to rather reduce size of the cabinet.

“We reject this proposed idea and call upon government to cut its bloated cabinet including State House decorated and over-glorified so-called advisors, and then this country will have enough money to last a decade and get this economy working again (sic),” said National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) secretary-general Joseph Kauandenge.

“The president must lead from the front and stop with his expensive taste of how he runs government, starting with cutting his neverending foreign trips. After all, charity begins at home and nowhere else,” Kauandenge added.

According to him, the idea belongs in the dustbin. The newly established Landless People's Movement shared Nudo's sentiments.

“We as LPM feel that the 2% could have been a good initiative. However, the application of the 2% across the board does not augur well.

“All of a sudden we are all treated as equals but when the SME Bank money, the Kora Awards, GIPF looting occurred, fishing quotas and mass housing shambles, all Namibians did not benefit equally,” said its deputy leader, Henny Seibeb.

He offered suggestions how the government could cut costs, starting with the size of the cabinet.

“Relieve all deputy ministers of their duties and save on salaries, benefits and subsistence and travel allowances. Eliminate the vice-president position as there is already a prime minister. These layers are top-heavy and serve more as bureaucratic impediment rather than adding value,” Seibeb said. Seibeb also suggested that the number of parliamentarians in the National Assembly be reduced from 96 to the original 72.

“Namibia is a small country and there is no logic as to why we need such a huge parliament. The initial proposal of 96 members of parliament was conceived out of patronage and not out of real fast-tracking of development,” he said.

Trade Union Congress of Namibia president Mahongora Kavihuha questioned the sanity of the person that came up with the proposed tax.

“This idea is irresponsible and childish,” said Kavihuha.

He suggested that the government look at its spending patterns, citing a recent handover of school furniture in the Kunene Region by President Hage Geingob, where he said hundreds of government vehicles were seen.

According to him, this example showed that the government was not managing its resources well.

According to Kavihuha, Tucna is gathering support from civil servants to have the idea shot down.

OGONE TLHAGE

JEMIMA BEUKES

Similar News

 

Filing tax returns online

19 hours ago | Economics

Elizabeth Joseph The Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) is a technology solution that allows taxpayers to file their returns online, which creates ease and comfort.A...

Economic panel targets N$14bn

1 week ago - 04 July 2019 | Economics

The high-level panel on the Namibian economy is scheduled to host an investment summit at the end of this month, which will ignite the process...

West African 'eco' dream gives economists nightmares

1 week ago - 03 July 2019 | Economics

Philippe Siuberski and Malick Rokhy - For decades it was a dream of West African finance ministers: ushering in a regional single currency to boost...

Not everybody a winner in record US expansion

1 week ago - 03 July 2019 | Economics

Trevor Hunnicutt - Last month Pink Floyd frontman David Gilmour sold his guitar collection for US$21.5 million, including one piece - his famed "Black Strat"...

Hunger for beef offers rewards, risks for pastoralists

1 week ago - 03 July 2019 | Economics

Célia Lebur - With over 200 million people and an emerging middle class, Nigeria is witnessing a boom in demand for meat that offers potential...

British PM favourite Johnson set to face the world

1 week ago - 03 July 2019 | Economics

Elizabeth Piper - Loose cannon or influential statesman - what kind of British prime minister would Boris Johnson make on the world stage? Judging by...

Kavango East youth unemployment at 62.5%

3 weeks ago - 25 June 2019 | Economics

Youth unemployment in Kavango East currently stands at a whopping 62.5%.This was revealed by Kavango East governor Samuel Mbambo yesterday in his State of the...

Experts knock US$1bn investment drive

3 weeks ago - 21 June 2019 | Economics

Experts are sceptical about government's plan to attract new investments worth US$1 billion from both locals and foreigners during the 2019 Namibia Economic Summit that...

Móre red growth figures

3 weeks ago - 20 June 2019 | Economics

Namibia’s economy grew by -2.0% annually in the first quarter of 2019, the worst quarterly performance since the last three months of 2017.Data released by...

Red hurricane on trade balance

3 weeks ago - 19 June 2019 | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – China has claimed the top spot for third consecutive time as Namibia’s export destination in the first three months of 2019.In addition,...

Latest News

APP on warpath over late...

19 hours ago | Politics

The All People's Party (APP) is threatening to stop the Oshakati East by-election after its candidate Tangy Mike Shilongo failed to register in time.The deadline...

Houses turned into ablution blocks

19 hours ago | Education

Three incomplete teacher's houses constructed at Kasivi Combined School in the Kavango West Region have been turned into ablution facilities for learners.When Namibian Sun visited...

Making waves

19 hours ago | People

Justicia Shipena Alexander Skinner started swimming at a very young age and has had an exciting pool career to date. Skinner, who trains at the...

When accountability gathers dust

19 hours ago | Opinion

In August 2014, just months before the election that swept President Hage Geingob to power, commentators bemoaned the fact that outgoing head of state Hifikepunye...

‘Whomst’ are you?

19 hours ago | Columns

Justicia Shipena How do you respond to someone who asks: “What are you?” Clearly, there’s no right answer to such a weighty inquisition; yet,...

Genocide negotiations 'too slow'

19 hours ago | International

In Germany there is no doubt about the suffering that imperial Germany caused Namibians, says Daniel Günther, the president of the Bundesrat of the Federal...

Dam levels dismal

19 hours ago | Disasters

It appears that the only town in Namibia which is safe from water restrictions is Keetmanshoop. The latest dam bulletin, released by NamWater...

NDF troops accused of assault

19 hours ago | Crime

The Chinese owner of Alfa Construction Company at Ongwediva lost N$700 000 after his business partner allegedly transferred the money from the business bank account....

Poverty ministry clarifies its position

19 hours ago | Agriculture

Lot Ndamanomhata, spokesperson for the poverty eradication ministry, sent a statement to Namibian Sun to clarify the position of the ministry in terms of procurement...

Load More