A leading trade union urges the government to refrain from burdening the working class with further taxes, and proposes to reduce defence expenditure in the coming year among other measures instead.

The Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union is also proposing amendments to the tax policy already in force.

It points out the wasteful expenditure incurred by government politicians and political appointees to state-run agencies.

The TU wants the defence expenditure to be brought down to Rs. 200 billion for 2023.

It also proposes suspending all allowances to MPs other than their salaries and fuel allowance, bringing salaries of cabinet and state ministers and MPs to the same level and annulling unnecessary appointments at the Presidential Secretariat.

Canceling the Rs. 50,000 allowance paid to government medical officers, exempting essential commodities from a 2.5 per cent social insurance fund levy and the 15 pc VAT and raising the income tax payment threshold to Rs. 200,000 per month are among its other proposals.

It also proposes an increase in the income tax to 40 pc for earners of an annual income in excess of Rs. five million, levying a Rs. 10,000 government hospital development fund tax from specialist doctors in private practice and a Rs. 10,000 annual registration fee for all registered lawyers.

Taxes should be levied for meeting essential expenditure only and in a manner of ensuring social justice, says its secretary Anton Marcus.


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