THE UPND is urging the PF government to suspend implementation of the Health Insurance Tax until further consultation is done. UPND mines chairperson Percy Chanda noted that the government had introduced another tax from salaried employees as part of the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme starting from July 1, 2019, by deducting one per cent from their payslips.
“This is an another tax that was controversially passed in Parliament by the PF regime using the arrogance of numbers without any dialogue and wider consultation from major stakeholders such as trade unions and other political parties,” Chanda said.
“Why should the already heavily taxed citizens be burdened by more taxes with the reported looting of public resources by the corrupt PF regime to fund their lavish lifestyle?”
He said the deduction from people’s salaries should be suspended until citizens, particularly the taxpayers, know the benefits of the tax deduction.
“We should know who are the fund managers for this tax in the same way we know who manages toll gate fees in this case NRFA and NAPSA for pensions. Hold dialogue with the trade union movement and fully agree on the implementation of this tax,” Chanda urged.
He said the UPND’s concern was also on the fact that there had been reported abuse of public resources that is being collected as taxes in similar manner.
“The PF regime gave civil servants a paltry four per cent increment this year after a long period of wage freeze, but now with one per cent deduction, it effectively means they only gave them an insult of three per cent as an increment amidst skyrocketing cost of living and doing business in the country,” argued Chanda. “This is the same PF regime that has been parroting the campaign of being a pro-poor party and came into office on the platform of low taxes and more money in people’s pockets.”