BY ISAAC NIKOLAUS
The national government has no plans to cut income taxes to relieve workers during difficult economic times made worse by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister James Marape said over the past three years personal income tax has become the number one tax, via corporation tax and goods and services tax (GST).
“That means our workers are wearing this land today.”
Mr Marape said the total revenue taken each year is around K10-11 billion, of which K5.6 billion is for paying government salaries and K2.3 billion is going to utilities like electricity, water (recurring) and the rest will be distributed infrastructure, DSIP, PSIP, roads, bridges, health and education.
“The mindset is good for the country, but at this point we cannot make this very critical appeal.
“The demand for money to meet the development aspirations and recurring aspirations was $ 17-19 billion each year,” he said.
“But the actual money we collect is between 10 and 11 billion kina, it would be irresponsible for me today to say that we will lower the income tax.
“The Internal Revenue Commission is being reformed and is bringing everyone into the tax bracket.
“A lot of non-tax companies are now starting to expand the network so that we can share taxes instead of employees.
“The way things are going today, we don’t have the option of lowering taxes because then the income we collect will decrease by K10 to K11 billion
“That’s the income we need to fund development budgets to fund recurring expenses, which amount to around $ 16-17 billion.
Mr Marape said the same question was asked by a young man during his visit to Lihir, to whom he replied that the economy has been bigger for maybe five to six years and corporate tax has been increasing and the economy has grown, and hopefully it will Income taxes rise slashed.
He answered questions from North Fly MP James Donald during Question Time yesterday.
Mr Donald said the country was facing great difficulties and is now affected by the global Covid-19 pandemic and asked the Prime Minister if he could give tax breaks to workers.
“As Prime Minister, how will you approach the current situation we are facing and will you lower income tax? We should cut taxes and cut them in half. “