Lacson: Give VAT back to the poor

By Roy C. Mabasa
Manila Bulletin
April 21, 2010

Give the Value Added Tax (VAT) back to the poor.

This was according to Liberal Party senatorial bet lawyer Alex ‘Pinoy’ Lacson who said on Tuesday that VAT should be used directly for the intended beneficiaries and that is the poorest of the poor among Filipinos.

According to Lacson it is only right that VAT, which has made utilities and commodities so much more expensive for the average Filipino, should be re-directed to anti-poverty programs instead of being used to fund infrastructure projects or pay off government loans.

He said a third of the government’s yearly budget is being used to pay off public debt, and a portion of the budget comes from VAT collections.

“The proceeds from VAT should be put to good use as a revolving fund for specific anti-poverty programs of the government like micro-financing and other programs meant to encourage small entrepreneurship,” Lacson said.

While Lacson noted government’s continuous efforts at lowering poverty incidence, self-rated poverty continues to be high.