Missing in action – public consultation on proposed income tax

Most countries in the world levy income taxes. Graphic: Wikimedia commons/Heitdorp

Most countries in the world tax individual income – and there is no reason why Vanuatu shouldn’t have an income tax either. Graphic: Wikimedia Commons/Heitordp

We know there is a Ministerial Budget Committee meeting soon to put various other consultation topics on the backburner. But the one which will need a lot of explaining away is the lack of consultation with the general public on taxation before the PM’s revelation of an income taxation likelihood on incomes above Vt 500,000. A Revenue Review Project Team has recently been set up four months after the decision to consider income tax, but with no real consultative process to date. Douglas Patterson of Island Property observed to the Buzz FM’s Coffee and Controversy program that there seemed to be so far no open discussion on what sort of changes to the taxation law need to be made, saying we all know, and accept, that taxes need to be paid, but a decision that earning Vt 500,000 should be the starting point. Chris Kernot of FR8 Logistics pointed out would mean that all his staff will now have to pay taxes they have never paid before. Buzz FM and Daily Post have got a consultation kickstarted and the Revenue Review Project Team must start to make some declarations better known that will enable them to have their required report completed by this year’s end.

On Luganville’s municipal holiday last week, the Head of State, Fr Baldwin Lonsdale, called on the citizens of Luganville to work together for the development of the town as the centre of northern Vanuatu. President Lonsdale urged a putting aside of the past political differences — which saw Santo in rebellion in 1980 — and to work together and to relate together not just for their own benefit but for that of the future generations. Luganville has a lot going for it as tourism and kava are gaining privileged export status, so now is certainly a good time. The PM’s praise of the work completed on Luganville wharves has also been noted in social media so development of the northern capital ought to be possible. (Radio Vanuatu)

Sincere apologies for the mistake in yesterday’s Vanuatu Daily Digest which had five RSE Ni-Vanuatu workers killed in an accident. The victims were actually Tongan. The mistake is regretted, and the PM was quite right in deciding decisions need to be taken regarding insurance for such workers.


One Comment on “Missing in action – public consultation on proposed income tax”

  1. Robert Joshua says:

    I still believe the Government has a strict timeline to follow. This timeline has some specific dates set aside for consultation, which is expected to happen very soon possibly this month. I guess there are overreaction from the private sector over the recent statement made by the Hon. Prime Minister. There were some options available which are subject to trials. Lets wait for the Consultation time when everyone will have their chance to express the views on the proposed tax reforms currently being spearheaded by the Ministry responsible for taxation.