In the hopes of bridging economic inequality in Maldives, opposition presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Ibu), on Monday, has pledged to impose income tax in the Maldives.
During a press conference held at Ibu’s campaign office, he stated that, in a coalition-led government, income tax would be imposed to ensure a better taxation system, as well as to strike a better balance by deducting tax from high-income earners, to provide for the lower income earning population.
“[The policy] has been included within the Jazeera (MDP) Manifesto. Redistributive taxation is an important step towards ensuring ordinary citizens are provided with the basic necessities”, said Ibu.
- Conducting research and discussions with relevant parties
- The tax would be deducted from wealthy citizens earning above a pre-determined income
- The details of the amendment will be laid out within the constitution
- On housing solutions for citizens
- Towards free medical care, and eliminate the need for people to ‘beg’ for financial support for health-related expenses
- For the provision drinking water and the establishment of water supply systems
- To support families in need of state-provided assistance
In 2011, the former MDP-run government, which had introduced taxation systems in the country, proposed a bill to the parliament for the deduction of income tax from the wealthier demographics.
However, after the subsequent shift in government, no work has been done with respect to the proposed bill.
Accusing the government of abusing its influence within MIRA for corrupt gains, Ibu declared that he would introduce amendments ensuring reform on these fronts. He also spoke of the importance of protecting information concerning ordinary businessmen, stating that the use of such data for political gain should be prevented.
“MIRA can be transformed into an institution that people trust. In that sense, MIRA’s board and its officers can be made answerable to the parliament”, said Ibu.
Ibu also declared that in order to tackle the various obstacles to solving tax-related issues, the Tax Appeal Tribunal should be allowed to operate independently.
Recognising that such amendments can only be made by the parliament, Ibu stated his confidence that as with the presidential elections, that the opposition coalition was also slated to win a majority representation within the parliament.