GST implementation to be deferred again
…… HH advises improved administration of VAT instead
By Staff Reporter
The scheduled implementation of the General Sales Tax from Value Added Tax (VAT) on July 1, 2019 has been deferred again, sources have disclosed.
And opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says the only logical thing to do was to abandon the programme and instead improve the VAT administration.
Hichilema said the UPND’s advice to the Patriotic Front government was motivated by their love and patriotism to the country, rather than parroted accusations of power hungry.
Hichilema said UPND observations are made out of genuine love for the ordinary citizens and the nation.
“In the case at hand (implementation of new tax regime) one does not need to be a rocket scientist to understand that some things just need some bit of common sense and some consultation from all those willing to avail themselves to be at service in the field of economic and financial management”, he said.
Hichilema said the PF must learn to listen even from their own technocrats within Government that are now frustrated because of politicians’ insatiable appetite for wrong decisions that only suited politics.
He said it was ironic that the entire PF government machinery can present such a huge economic proposal to the country in their budget, and later embark on a countrywide consultative process like they are currently doing and then make a sudden twist.
Hichilema said it was simple logic that you first consult then consider implementing based on the outcomes of the consultative processes.
“In medical profession, the PF regime is that medical practitioner who prescribes any drug available on the shelves to the patient before carrying out a thorough diagnosis. The result is what is currently happening to our ailing economy because it is forever being given wrong prescription resulting in a wrong prognosis”, he said.
He questioned how citizens and the entire business community can now take short and long term plans under such flip flop (Chipantepante) arrangement.
“How do our colleagues in the PF regime now balance the budget because some of the revenue collection in the 2019 budget are projections from collections of sales tax? Like they say, ‘If It’s Not Broken, Do Not Mend it”, he added.
He advised the PF to stick to VAT, just broaden the tax base and reduce the VAT rate.