Saturday, August 14, 2010

Imposing VAT on toll exposes Aquino regime's callousness and complete contempt for the masses-CPP

Imposing VAT on toll exposes Aquino regime's callousness
and complete contempt for the masses-CPP*

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
August 13, 2010

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today strongly criticized the Aquino regime's plan to impose a 12% Value Added Tax (VAT) on expressway toll fees starting on Monday, saying this will "only further burden the Filipino people, especially the impoverished toiling masses."

The Aquino government has ordered the imposition of VAT on expressway toll fees to generate as much as P1 billion annually for its cash-strapped government. The 12% tax will cover the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), Coastal Road, the Skyway, South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR). The new tax will be on top of the planned 270% increase in toll fees at the SLEx that will be implemented on the same day.

"The added tax on toll fees burdens the people all the more and exposes the US-Aquino regime's complete contempt for the people and callousness in the face of their misery," the CPP said further. "The assertion by revenue officials that VAT on toll fees is not a new tax is hogwash."

"The people now see more clearly that Aquino was lying when he campaigned with a promise that no new taxes will be imposed," the CPP said, pointing out that the imposition of a new tax on toll fees comes less than 50 days after Aquino assumed power.

"The US-Aquino regime has no qualms about shifting on the people the rotten government's burden of a mounting budget deficit and its ineptitude in the face of the defunct ruling system's economic crisis," the CPP said further. There are also plans to further increase taxes on cigarettes and other consumer items, as well as plans to increase train fares, electricity charges and payments for other public services.

Various sectors and personalities have stood up against the planned tax on tolls. People's organizations point out that increases in toll fees will cause a domino effect on fare and the prices of other commodities. Legislators have also pointed out that imposing VAT on toll fees is illegal as the latter are in fact already a form of tax.

"Public utilities and services should, in fact, be provided free or at government-subsidized prices," said the CPP.