Friday, June 9, 2017

PJ Increases Top Tax Rates By 5%

In his budget yesterday. Along with a negative income tax (para. 280) of up to a thousand rupees. These should mitigate the growth of the Sithanen Toohrooh and could help reduce inequality. Not a bad start but it won't be enough. The establishment of a National Investment Authority (para. 321) is a good idea to optimise returns of the NPF/NSF and other parastatals and to provide much-needed opportunities for local finance professionals to put their skill set to contribution. It might even improve pension fund governance.

The big negatives include the extension of 8-year contracts to foreign labour in more sectors of the economy (p38). You don't want to do this when the economy -- broken by Dr. Calamity -- is not creating any jobs. At least not before you have a good look at pay ratios and remember that there's so much of unemployment and underemployment here. I didn't see -- haven't really read the budget yet -- anything to freeze the growth of the pool of vehicles. Not too sure you want to give all these fiscal exemptions. For example, is the minuscule tax rate for exporting companies going to apply irrespective of their size? After the rubbish of 'competitive depreciation'? Does the CMT need that?

Hopefully there will be some big improvements in these plans before the Finance Act is passed. Like scrapping the Metro Express project. And a massive reduction of nonsense.

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