People trapped in tax rise


FACTS in the tax projections in the 2019 budget are as follows: MPT (mining and petroleum tax) K428 million, personal income tax (PIT) K2.95 billion, goods and services tax (GST) K2.19 billion.
What it means is that the so called ‘savings’ from PIT exemptions (various bands/brackets) are all eaten up again in high cost of food in the stores through GST.
There is minute to no savings at all. Poverty is upheld or increased therein.
Workers (formal sector) represent only 23 per cent of total 8.5 million population and are greatly tax-enslaved.
The issue is when will Government provide real relief to these stringent lot who act as buffalo for State, labour to meeting one-third of total tax revenue for the country (K10 billion in taxes) while mining and petroleum companies who steal large amounts pay less in income tax, enjoy tax holidays, keep money in bank accounts offshore, etc?
Furthermore, Chinese businesses operate three to five retail shops in different locations around the country under one license only – evading tax to Internal Revenue Commission.
Monies are leaking out of the system without being detected by IRC while the poor workers are forced to pay for their sins.
Evil are we as a country.
Workers are stretched out (you inclusive). This issue is real, it is no way political. Prices of 918 consumer items have risen since Jan 1, 2019, affecting 65 per cent of family food budgets already.
Seventy more consumer items face high tariffs increase starting Jan 1, 2019, (in the name of protecting local industries but actually it is intended to protect monopoly interest of locally-registered companies which have strings tied to PNG heavies). Imported chicken is facing high tariff, yet, Niugini Tables and Zenag are enjoying monopoly in chicken production and prices and dominating domestic market without a word from Government to broaden and spread out chicken production business in the country.
Israelites are taking over all agro-business in PNG, don’t you realise?
High tariffs on imports are to protect such interest, I am telling you. So where do we consumers go? We are caught right in there in the trap. This is tax genocide.
Compare tax brackets/bands and GST rates of neighboring Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia to better grasp my point, in line with what PNG Trade Union Congress is talking about.
Department of National Planning and Monitoring needs to explain many unanswered issues:

  • K11 billion debt hidden from the 2019 budget – already making 2019 budget an illegal fake document;
  • what is PNG’s actual debt level (K28 billion or more)?
  • how many of our resources and assets have been up as mortgages against the huge borrowing made? and,
  • Why the ‘rush, rush’ in opening up new mines and gas projects?

I could go on and on, but I am sure that no straight answers are ever forthcoming, just as no straight answer has been ever provided by State and Exxon Mobil on the cause(s) of the Feb 26, 2018, 7.5 killer earthquake in Southern Highlands.
More than 500 shipments of LNG cargo have left our shores at US$150 (K496) million per shipment, and yet, no straight show of revenue in the national budget since 2015.
Where is the LNG money? We keep asking with no answers.
My conclusion: we have lost democracy, we are an oligarchy operating in the whims of corporate predators and vice of a capitalist world order that is looting the fast depleting earth’s resources – sucking last blood.

Cyril Gare, Via email

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