TUCP asks Congress to come up with tax reform measures

Published by rudy Date posted on March 20, 2006

The country’s largest labor group urged the Senate yesterday to adopt its own version of tax reform measures to ensure the granting of additional relief for workers nationwide.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) said the Senate must follow the initiative of the House of Representatives which already came out with a consolidated version of the tax exemption bills.

TUCP spokesman Alex Aguilar said the Senate must immediately respond to the initiative made by the House by coming out with their own counterpart proposal of tax relief for workers.

“Senate must immediately pass its own version of the tax exempt bills to ensure the passage of the proposal this year and provide the much needed financial relief for workers nationwide,” Aguilar said.

Aguilar pointed out the House ways and means committee had consolidated several versions of tax exemption bills and had already made an assurance of passing the bill.

Under the consolidated bill, personal and additional tax allowance of a single worker will be raised from P20,000 to P30,000 while the head of family will be allowed P25,000 to P37,000 tax exemption.

The proposed measure also provides to raise the tax exemption of married workers from P32,000 to P48,000 and additional dependents from P8,000 to P12,000 each.

Aguilar said the proposed measure virtually exempts minimum wage earners from paying taxes and decrease tax payments of workers earning a minimum of P8,000 to as much as P1 million a year.

“The proposal is a step towards socializing the tax base and giving much needed reprieve to low income and middle income wage earners who account for 70 percent of the country’s tax collection,” he said.

Aguilar said the TUCP noted the government stands to lose some P10 billion in prospective revenues under the proposed measure.

But the losses, Aguilar pointed out, will be offset by the P130 billion to be collected by the government from the reformed value added tax.

“Whatever improvement in the take-home pay of workers will be plowed back to the economy and government coffers in other forms of taxes,” Aguilar said. — Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star

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