Informal sector not ready to pay tax: PDM Youth League

12 Jul 2018 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 12 JUL (NAMPA) – The Popular Democratic Movement Youth League (PDMYL) has critised the Inland Revenue Department’s efforts to tax Namibia’s informal sector, saying the sector is not economically and technically ready for such taxes.
This follows the Finance Minister, Calle Schlettwein’s announcement, through a widely circulated pamphlet that informal traders must honour their tax obligations or face the wrath of the law.
The five informal businesses that qualify to be taxed, if the new directive is to be implemented include hairs salons, taxi and/or bus operators, plumbers, hawkers and kapana vendors.
The sectors are being targeted under the presumption that they earn more than N. dollars 50 000 annually.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, PDMYL’s Spokesperson Maximalliant Katjimune described the directive by the minister as misguiding and worrisome.
“It is our view that the Namibian informal sector has not developed at the economic and technical level required to adequately and fairly tax it without significantly collapsing the market and creating massive unemployment,” he asserted.
Instead of focusing on the informal sector, PDMYL added the Government should be targeting big businesses that have been evading tax for years.
“The Government must also step up efforts to properly tax Chinese businesses that are operating in Namibia,” the young leader suggested.
He claimed that it is an open secret that China Town are known for storing large amounts of money in store rooms in an effort to avoid tax, saying that this is where the Government should start, not the informal sector.
The youth leader then took time to discuss the proposed taxi fare increase, which directly affects the youth, particularly the student population.
Katjimune described the proposed 50 per cent taxi fare hike by the Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) effective from 01 September 2018 as 'unreasonable'.
“It is common sense that in this tough economic climate, an increment of 50 per cent is very unreasonable,” he said, adding that it would negatively impact the majority of students who solely rely on taxis for their transport needs.
Even if there is an increase, it must be of a nature in which everyone is accommodated, he continued.