Senior MDP MP calls to stop tax hike

Former Chairperson of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), MP Hassan Latheef | Photo: Nishan Ali

Malé, Maldives – MP for West Henveyru constituency, Hassan Latheef has called on President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih to stop the tax increase from next year.

The government has proposed to increase GST and TGST from January next year. Amendment proposes that TGST to be increased from 12 per cent to 16 per cent and GST from 6 per cent to 8 per cent.

The former MDP chairperson, who has also become one of the biggest critics of the current government, tweeted yesterday that the government has more than MVR 15 billion receivable in various ways and that it is a great injustice to increase the taxes levied on the people without doing enough to get back that money.

“I respectfully ask the President to stop this,” Hassan explained.

He is one of the most vocal critics of the tax hike proposed by the government.

Justifying the governments decision, Spokesperson of the President’s Office Miuvan Mohamed told local media previously that tax revenue is a very important part of next year’s budget and that the tax increase is intended to raise the money needed to run the government’s planned programs.

“It’s not that tax money is not being taken and services are not being provided to the people. The budget plans to provide a lot of things to the people next year”, Miuvan explained.

Miuvan said the tax increase will directly benefit the people. The salaries of those who need to be increased will be increased and that continuous free degree programs will be assured and social and welfare programs will continue without any disruption, he said.

In addition, the proposed tax increases are relatively small and the additional expenditure will be relatively small, he said. He said the talk of tax increases is not an easy one and the talks made when the MDP government first tried to introduce the tax will not be forgotten for a long time.