PNG Prime Minister Clarifies New Housing Benefit Taxation Proposal

Report claiming middle income earners will be hurt inaccurate: O'Neill

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 30, 2016) – The reporting on the housing taxation is misleading and mischievous, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said yesterday. Mr O’Neill said that the lower and middle income earners were not affected as it was only applicable to high income earners.

He said the table that the National Research Institute (NRI) researcher Dr Francis Odhuno based his arguments was on a tax bracket table from 2004.

"We are not going to punish our people. "This is a government that gave more tax relief to the simple people since coming into office."

Mr O’Neill said the Government had put priority in providing free education, free basic health care, infrastructure development, law and order and growing the economy. "This housing tax reports are misleading and mischievous," he said.

Mr O’Neill said this in an interview organised by Post-Courier Editor Todagia Kelola, to get government comments on the housing tax saga that had been gracing the pages of the newspaper since Monday.

In a statement last night by Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele, the housing benefits change will only affect rents of more than K3000 a week. "Low-to-middle income earners have no additional tax liability" he said

Treasury Minister Patrick Pruaitch issued a similar press statement that only two categories of high income employees would be affected by the 2017 housing tax changes.

PNG Post-Courier
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