Wednesday, August 31

ActionAid rejects planned tax on phone calls, SMS, data; urges FG to tax luxury goods

ActionAid rejects planned tax on phone calls, SMS, data; urges FG to tax luxury goods

The Nigerian arm of the global movement of people working together to promote human rights and defeat poverty, ActionAid Nigeria, has faulted the proposed Communication Service Tax, CST, bill, calling on the federal government to reject the bill.

Frowning at the draft bill aimed at imposing up to nine percent tax on all phone calls, short message service, SMS, multimedia messaging service, MMS, data packages, and pay television services, the group said the imposition of the new tax would worsen the poverty situation of consumers.

According to the Country Director of the organization, Mrs. Ojobo Atuluku, “This is not acceptable. It will put a huge burden on poor people who are already paying a very high price from multiple taxes.”

She said the federal government needed to focus on luxury and property tax, as more progressive nations were doing, to generate revenue for their countries.

Atuluku said if the bill was passed into law, “it would be additional burden on the poor who are already bearing the burden of the misrule of the Nigerian political and business class”.

ActionAid Nigeria stated that the move amounts to “punishing the poor for the sins of the rich”, adding that the recent argument to deploy proceeds from the tax to investments on infrastructural development was untenable.

“Why must the poor, who will be the most affected, be the ones paying for infrastructural deficits brought about by the recklessness of the rich political class and their collaborators in the business class?” Atuluku asked.

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