Monday, November 21, 2005

NR1118: One-month delay in EVAT increase nothing to rejoice for

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran
News Release November 18, 2005

One-month delay in EVAT increase nothing to rejoice for; More Filipinos to disappear under the poverty line

Anakpawis Representative Crispin beltran today expressed outrage anew over what he termed was the Macapagal-Arroyo government's "ruthlessness' in imposing the new expanded value added tax law. The value-added tax on goods and services will be raised from 10 percent to 12 percent on February 1 a month later than originally planned.

Beltran said that the one-month delay in the implementation of the additional 2 percent increase was essentially meaningless for consumers becase manufacturers and the oil companies have already computed the increases in their prices and rates. "The one-month delay is nothing. The EVAT's immediate impact even before it was first implemented on November 1 was to send prices soaring. Consumers are already in shock by how even more expensive basic commodities are; and it's no comfort at all that they will shoulder the added 2 percent in the EVAT in February instead of January 2006. It's all the same to consumers, given how helpless they are against the VAT with only their small wages to help tide them over."

Beltran said that the Macapagal-Arroyo government's determination to generate revenues was without doubt at the expense of the Filipino people and their economic welfare. "For whom is this government in such a desperate hurry to accumulate funds? The VAT collections will not be going to social services at all, but to foreign debt payments and the pockets of corrupt government officials especially those in Malacanang, and those close to the illegitimate incumbent executive," he said.

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that that Malacanang and the Department of Finance's haste to pacify and reaasure big businesses over the EVAT increase delay was callous and contemptible.

"Has Malacanang and the Finance department done any study or research as to how these new tax impositions will impact on the poor and the unemployed? On the low-income earners and the underemployed? They have done nothing to assure or assist the poor majority at the face of the the EVAT's onslaught. There have been no genuine, substantial wage and salary increases in the public and private sector for the last six years, and the people have no other means for survival against the impact of the EVAT but their measly incomes. Millions more Filipinos are sure to sink under the poverty line because of theEVAT. The EVAT is a victory for the exploitative businesses and their corrupt partners in government, and a brutal punishment against all poor and working-class Filipinos," he said. #


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