Vanuatu Income Over $4,700 A Years To Be Taxed

PM Salwai says income tax will be faired for poor than VAT

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, August 25, 2016) – Prime Minister Charlot Salwai has personally informed the people of Santo about the recent government decision to introduce an income tax.

Speaking at the diamond jubilee of Lycée de Luganville in Santo, last Friday PM Salwai explained that government had decided to set a threshold of Vt500,000 [US$4,700] over which all workers in Vanuatu with annual income over that amount will be levied the income tax based on how much they earn.

“There said many naysayers who will say this or that concerning the decision, but the reality is that the tax system today including the VAT allows for the rich to become richer and the poor poorer,” he defended the government’s decision to his Santo audience.

He said every country in the world levies this tax and Vanuatu must start because it must start taking more responsibility for paying for its development.

The Prime Minister announced that one of the programs that money raised from the tax would go to support was “free education” for all children up to Year 10.

When the Government introduced free education for primary level from Year 1 to Year 6, Australia funded the initiative starting in the first year.

But every year since then the Vanuatu Government is slowly taking over paying for the program until this year.

Next year, Vanuatu will start fully funding the program because the Government believes the country must start taking responsibility for funding the school fees for the children.

“If every child in Vanuatu is educated until Year 10 it means everyone becomes a responsible person,” PM Salwai argued.

He emphasized this would also be fulfilling the country’s obligations to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, which Vanuatu has committed to, “and it is the country’s obligation to provide this to its children and keep children in school until they reach 16 years of age.”

“When you reach 16 years of age you become a responsible person and the child can decide his/her destiny. From there the child can go on to learn skills of how to use his or her hand or to decide to go on to further studies.

“But when we leave them at primary level it’s difficult for them and if parents do not have the capacity to pay for their studies to go on they quickly forget things they learned at school.”

“When we allow every child to reach Year 10, then we can upgrade the levels of institutions such as Vanuatu Institute of Technology, Nursing School and Police College. Then we can allow many more to go to university to get their bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees,” the Prime Minister continued.

He was concerned that either the country educated its children to Year 10 or increased its budget to build more correctional centers, which he insisted was the irony that existed today.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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