VAT, SLEX Toll, "Sin Taxes": "Honest" Aquino Breaks Another Campaign Promise
Aquino’s foot in mouth disease just keeps on getting worse. Remember that in his speech before the Makati Business Club Jan 2010 he promised no new taxes and no tax rates hike because curbing corruption will free up funds. Aquino didn’t even wait for a year to flip flop and break his campaign promise of no new taxes and no new tax rate hikes.
Before the Elections
Antipinoy.com called the bluff in Jan 2010 in Noynoy’s MBC Speech is full of crap. Even the Arroyo administration waded in about Noynoy’s pledge of no new taxes.
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang chided presidential candidate Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of the Liberal Party over the promises he made to the business community on Thursday, which include refraining from imposing new taxes and increasing tax rates.
Gary Olivar, Palace deputy presidential spokesperson, said that what Aquino did was “unfair” to the public since these may only be empty promises once he gets elected.
He compared Aquino’s no-new-tax pledge to what former United States President George H.W. Bush did when he accepted his nomination for the 1988 presidential elections.
His statement, “Read my lips: No new taxes”, was said to have helped Bush greatly in winning the 1988 presidential elections. But once he took the highest position, Bush raised taxes as a way to curb the US budget deficit.
On Thursday, Aquino told members of the Makati Business Club that he would not impose new taxes or raise tax rates if elected president. He also promised to pursue the rationalization of fiscal incentives as part of efforts to plug revenue leaks and lower the budget deficit.
In an attempt to court the business community’s support, he stressed that lower taxes is part of his “vision to transform our country.”
In Feb 2010, Aquino reiterated his no-new tax no new rate hikes promise by saying it was unconscionable to impose a heavier burden on those already shouldering the bulk of taxes and that a better alternative was to improve the collection efficiency and bring it back to the peak it achieved during the Fidel V. Ramos administration.
After the elections
Funny how winning an election suddenly changes the no new taxes or no tax hikes spin to one on “favors hiking sin taxes”.
As of August 15, 2010 – barely 3 months after winning the election, Aquino has flipflopped again – this time on taxes.
Aquino favors hike in sin taxes
By JC BELLO RUIZ
August 16, 2010, 6:33pm
Amid public clamor and the Supreme Court’s issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the plan to impose the 12 percent value-added tax (VAT) on toll rates, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Monday he has put on hold the tax measure and is contemplating on raising sin taxes on cigarettes and liquor.
Aquino, in an interview after administering the oath of office of his first SC appointee Associate Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, said that with the suspension of the imposition of the VAT on toll, the government’s finance and legal teams are now studying Plan B, which might include the raising of sin taxes that Aquino favors.
Aquino also said the implementation of the 250 percent hike on toll rates in the newly-rehabilitated South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) is more of a priority to him.
“The VAT (on toll) actually I’ve put it on hold as of last week. This is still subject to a lot of discussions. My first priority is the SLEx – the impending 250 percent increase, and the initial solution that we had sought to employ to address that increase is not panning out,” Aquino said.
Aquino has been lamenting the SLEx toll hike that he even said in a jest last Friday, during the oath-taking of the Organisayon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit officers, that his hair continues to become thinner day by day because of the problems he inherited from previous administrations which include the planned 250 percent hike in toll rates of the Alabang (Muntinlupa)-Calamba (Laguna) tollway.
What’s the score – hike or no hike?
By the looks of it – pending judicial review – the SLEX toll is a done deal. The Aquino media mouthpiece, ABS-CBN is on the record as saying All Systems Go for VAT Toll
MANILA, Philippines – Barring any court intervention, it is all systems go for the implementation of the value-added tax (VAT) on the use of expressways starting next week, Malacañang said, following a Senate hearing on the controversial tax measure on Thursday.
“It would appear that the VAT on the toll would still be a go, unless otherwise directed,” Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said, noting that the Supreme Court has not issued a temporary restraining order.
Lacierda’s statement came after senators, in a hearing on Thursday, grilled Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) chief Kim Henares over the agency’s plan to impose the 12% VAT on toll beginning 10 p.m. Monday.
Lacierda maintained that Malacañang remains firm on its stand to tax tollway operations, a move he said should have been done in 2005, when the Expanded VAT Law was enacted.
The presidential spokesman insisted that the VAT is necessary to raise additional funds for vital government social services.
“Itong VAT na ito, bagama’t ay masasabi nating makakasakit sa mga motorista, ito pong makokolekta po natin ay magagamit po natin sa mga programang pangkalahatan po. So, that is the purpose why we are collecting all these taxes, for a greater good,” Lacierda said.
Senate ways and means committee chair Ralph Recto said that the E-VAT, the law he authored and now being cited by the BIR to justify its plan, never imposed VAT on tollways.
“Never did we say that toll is ‘VATable’ because it’s an essential government service provided, and a government service should not be ‘VATable.’ That is our contention,” explained Recto.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, for his part, said the BIR should review its proposal to tax tollway operations as this has no legal basis.
On Wednesday, former Nueva Ecija 1st Distric Rep. Renato Diaz and former Trade and Industry assistant secretary Aurora Timbol filed a petition before the Supreme Court to stop the imposition of the VAT on toll.
Citing the case of Manila International Airport Authority vs. Court of Tax Appeals, City of Parańaque et al, the petitioners said the court had ruled that toll fees are “user’s tax.”
Therefore, the imposition of VAT on a user’s tax is, in effect, imposing a tax on a tax, and not a tax on sale of services, they added.
Consumer and transport groups have vowed to block the new tax measure, which, they warned, could jack up fares and prices of goods.
BIR Chief Henares comes to the aid of P-Noy by stating that the VAT imposition on the SLEX toll rates was not P. Noys idea .
MANILA, Philippines – Internal Revenue chief Kim Henares clarified Friday that the idea of imposing value-added tax (VAT) on toll fees did not come from President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
“Wala ho siyang iniuutos sa amin. Ang utos lang niya nang italaga niya ako as commissioner ng Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) ay ipatupad ang batas (He did not order us [to impose VAT on toll]. What he told me when he appointed me as commissioner of the BIR is to implement the law),” Henares told ABS-CBN’s morning show, “Umagang Kay Ganda (UKG).”
She said that the BIR is merely trying to make tax administration efficient, since President Aquino has promised not to impose new taxes despite the national government’s dwindling funds.
Henares reiterated that one of the intents of Republic Act No. 9337 or the new tax law, which amends several sections of the national Internal Revenue Code of 1997, is to impose VAT on toll.
The fact of the matter is, the buck stops with the Pres and by saying “YES” or “NO” he puts his personal seal of approval on the measure based on his personal understanding of the issues at hand. As Aquino himself said, he will listen to other people’s advice but in the end, the decision will be his to make.
Second, how can levying VAT on SLEX tolls not be construed as new taxes or new rate hike?
What does it really mean to increase tax collection efficiency? What in the world was Henares thinking? Did she even bother to read Aquino’s speech on increasing tax collection efficiency? Oh gawds – it’s so Pinoy. To increase tax collection efficiency, go to SLEX Tollways because they collect tolls efficiently. 😆
Unraveling The Myth of Aquino’s Honesty
Somebody needs to remind Aquino about his promise of no new taxes, no tax rate hikes. Aquino didn’t inherit the problem – he applied for the job! And, deciding on taxes comes with the job. If lower taxes is part of his “vision to transform our country” – thus far it seems Aquino’s vision of lower taxes does not seem to jive with his administrations current action of increasing sin taxes and VAT hikes on SLEX.
Isn’t that lying? Isn’t that being dishonest? So here comes the candidate of honesty and truth lying about no new taxes in broad daylight.
If you entertain ideas that thinking is tiresome, try stupidity – it’s quite expensive. Take that Aquino supporters – you all been had – you will pay HIGHER TAXES, HIGHER UTILITY RATES. 😆
Schadenfreude – PRICELESS! 😆