Sri Lanka legislators want to keep feudal-style tax privilege; state workers also lobby
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s legislators will continue to avoid a tax on cars they have imposed on other citizens, a media report said, indicating that an unjust feudal-style privilege Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake tried to end may continue.
Not only legislators but state officials who write the tax laws and collect taxes from the people were also allowed to buy tax slashed cars while ordinary citizens paid triple digit rate of tax even when buying a motor cycle.
Ironically Finance Minister Karunanayake is scrambling to find money to pay high salaries to the same state workers and jacked up taxes for cars brought by ordinary people even higher.
The Sunday Times quoted Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera as saying that proposals under consideration were to give vehicles to legislators with the option of buying or returning them at the end of their term. Another proposal was to give a bigger transport allowance.
The Sunday Time said under the ‘duty free permit’ system, a legislator was given tax free permit every five years.
State officials were entitled to tax slashed permits every five years.
Though legislators are called ‘lawmakers’ in some countries, the legislation are simply soveriegn commands which sometimes fails the basic test of a just ‘law’, of applying to every citizen equally.
Sri Lanka’s top state workers have also protested to the new administration to let them keep the tax priviledge.
The Sunday Times said a trade union state worker doctors were prepared to strike for the tax privilege denied to ordinary citizens.
Other than foreign qualified doctors who paid for their own education most doctors in state service had been educated at the expense of tax payers at state universities. (Colombo/Nov30/2015)