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  • Trays of eggs are seen in the Paloquemao market square in Bogota, Colombia.

    Trays of eggs are seen in the Paloquemao market square in Bogota, Colombia. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 November 2018

Political and Social organizations are ready to reject a bill that seeks to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT).

The Colombian Federation of Education Workers (Fecode) calls on the population to march in Bogota to show the popular discontent over the expansion of the Value Added Tax (VAT) to the family basket.

RELATED: 
Colombia: Vat on Food to Affect Vulnerable Families

The so-called 'Financing bill,' which the right-wing President Ivan Duque sent to the Congress on Oct. 31, has been promoted as a tool for modernizing the Colombian tax system and promoting business competitiveness.

According to the Teachers' union, however, the effect of the tax reform is likely to be an "assault on the pockets of the Colombian people." Extending the VAT to most items in the basic basket of goods would entail taxing textbooks and school books.

"This wave of taxes would directly harm the finances of teachers, workers, families, and Colombians in general, especially those from lower income strata," states the Fecode press release.

Last week the Unitary Workers Union (CUT) also called a national day of protest. Its president, Diógenes Orjuela, indicated that the Financing bill's reforms go against the most vulnerable Colombian families. The Democratic Confederation of Pensioners expressed too its concern because one of the bill's articles considers taxing retired people.

Referring to the Financing Law, the Federation of Education Workers states that "its true purpose is to extend the taxable base to the family basket, that is, to 80 percent of the products that are consumed daily by millions of citizens. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and almost all basic foods will have an increase of 18 percent in the next year."

The mobilizations against the Financing Law will take place in Bogotá, a city in which the Unitary Workers Central, senior citizens, social organizations and the student movement will gather on Thursday.

In its press release, the Federation makes "an urgent call to raise our voice of protest, to strengthen the denunciation, and to mobilize in the streets, with the different social, political, academic and union sectors, in order to defeat this assault on the pockets of the Colombian people."

 

Meeting of workers' centers, social organizations and political sectors organizing the opposition and mobilization against the Tax Reform of Duque and Carrasquilla.

Let's go to the streets on Thursday!


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