Former National Publicity Secretary of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh has strongly cautioned against the imposition of the new personal tax on Nigerians as reportedly proposed by State Governors.
The former PDP Spokesperson who posted on his verified Facebook handle on Sunday also demands an immediate ban on the purchase of luxury vehicles and all unnecessary foreign trips by government officials.
He also advocated a constitutional amendment to provide a six-year single term for elected office holders.
Metuh lamented that the proposed monthly flat rate of 3% Personal Income Tax on Nigerians earning above N30,000 and a flat rate of N100 FPIT on Nigerians earning below N30,000 (employed or not) will, in addition to the 10% sales tax as well as a further increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) will result in more hardship on Nigerians and a collapse of the lower class.
“The governors should note that all Nigerians earning below N50,000($80) monthly are really living in poverty and the government should not inflict them with more financial punishment. They are already burdened with multiple taxes, provide their own water supply and alternative energy, and cater for their aged and their infants without any social services cushion. They already provide communal welfare services under our cultural extended family system”, Metuh stated.
He noted that the country needs an all-political class conference on the way forward and urged the political class to agree to some commitments in the interest of the people.
He outlined the commitment to include
1. A constitutional amendment for all elected and appointed persons to serve only one term of 6 years in office. We no longer need professional politicians in this country.
2. Open and transparent governance across all levels. We need to know the incomes and expenditures of all public and government institutions at all levels . Some public officials feed fat on minor and hidden details in the budget.
3. Immediate ban on purchase of vehicles by all government agencies and officials. In this present time, we only need people who genuinely want to make sacrifices in office. The country can no longer afford to buy vehicles for legislators, ministers and those in MDGs.
4. The governors should cut all excesses in their spending. Why would they propose a 3% flat tax on low-income earners and still hire private jets and maintain the retinue of redundant aides?
5. All unnecessary foreign trips by government officials should be banned completely. Legislators, Ministers and others who need to embark on important foreign trips can only be approved premium economy tickets, they may choose to upgrade with their resources.
6. Introduction of a strong consumer protection agency to save the citizenry from unfair levies and charges by banks, telecoms and indeed major agencies that engage in unnecessarily high charges.
According to Metuh, “there is a clear and present danger of an impending revolution against the political class in Nigeria. Some Nigerians who do not have visible means of livelihood have been feeding fat on the national resources whilst masquerading as politicians”
He, therefore, stressed that “no political party or person should campaign without promising cuts at the highest levels.