HH advises against introduction of Sales Tax
By Staff Reporter
HAKAINDE Hichilema has insisted that the PF should drop the idea of introducing general sales tax and return to value added tax.
In a press statement yesterday, Hichilema, who is UPND leader, stated that there were “those of us” who believed in the efficacy of Value Added Tax (VAT) as a fairer consumption tax for logical and technical reasons.
He believes that when correctly implemented, VAT was likely to have a higher positive impact on the economy and society as a whole.
“In particular, the benefit of VAT lies, among others, in its ability to promote savings, capital formation and investment, which is essential for economic development, jobs creation, business opportunities, social uplift and poverty reduction,” Hichilema stated.
“VAT is a tax whose possible negative effect on low income earners can be mitigated through appropriate tax credits/allowances.”
He added that VAT was a tax which was relatively cheaper and easier to collect than some other taxes like the General Sales Tax (GST), which is being proposed by the PF government.
“We advise that PF should drop/not implement their unwise and inappropriate idea of replacing VAT with GST. As we have argued before, GST is penal, more costly and difficult to collect,” Hichilema stated.
“Overall, the GST introduction is likely to result in the Treasury collecting less tax revenue to support health, education, food security and other social services.”
The opposition leader noted that GST would hurt households, the general citizenry, savings and small and large businesses, something that would lead to further business closures and consequently more job losses.
“Without doubt, GST will slow down even further the already declining economic growth,” stated Hichilema.
“PF’s poor leadership has already caused so much damage to our country and people’s lives. As such and for once, PF should listen to our sound advice for the good of our economy and people.”