Monday, November 2, 2015

Palace calls on critics not to politicize income tax issue, gov't pro-poor initiatives

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda has appealed to government critics to stop politicizing the government pro-poor programs as well as the income tax law as the country gears towards elections next year.

Some government critics said not acting on calls to lower the income tax rate mean lack of sympathy for lower or middle income individuals.

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. even called on the President to make the lower income tax as Christmas gift to ordinary workers.

But Lacierda clarified that the government is not against giving workers higher take home pay but reforming the income tax law needs a thorough study.

The government must look at the entire picture of the tax system and determine the cause and effect of adjusting income tax rates.

For those criticizing the administration saying it does not have sympathy for ordinary people, Lacierda said the government has carried out many pro-poor programs in the last five years and will continue to do so in the remaining days of the Aquino administration.

For instance, he said that the government have invested P75 billion for conditional cash transfer (CCT) assisting 4.4 million families considered poorest of the poor.

This is equivalent to more than 20 million of the country's population, he said.

As a result of better tax collection system, the government was able to increase the allocation for CCT, widen PhilHealth coverage, and build more classrooms, he noted.

The administration carried out such programs without raising taxes except for the sin tax, he said. He added that they will not allow some candidates to misinform the public especially during the campaign season. (PCOO News Release)

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