7 Sep 2016

Vanuatu income tax proposal criticised

3:35 pm on 7 September 2016

The opposition in Vanuatu says there has been a lack of public consultation on the government's proposal to introduce an income tax.

The Prime Minister Charlot Salwai has said the tax would apply to people earning more than four and a half thousand dollars per year.

In a statement the Opposition said the Government has not been clear on how an income tax will be established and asks what benefits it would provide in return.

It is also asking how the eight percent of people who are formally employed in Vanuatu could fund services for the rest of the population.

The opposition said Vanuatu is under global pressure to generate more income as it will lose grants and loans when it graduates from its least developed country status in 2020.

It said there is also pressure from the OECD due to the foreign money Vanuatu attracts because it is a tax free jurisdiction and the government should explore other options such as strengthening compliance on value added tax and cutting expenditure on parliamentary positions.