We pay, we have a say: The tax regime we want

Yesterday we launched two campaigns- the Robin Hood Tax Campaign which will see taxes on Financial Transactions Government of Malawi maintained and another one, We Pay, We Have a Say on Taxes. Nobody likes taxes, but we recognise we are obliged to pay. Even the Holy Bible says what is due to Ceaser should be given to Ceaser.

The DPP Regime choked all Malawians with taxes and Laws and there are high expectations that this regime, after the launch of the Campaigns, we start today to agree that:

1. There are very few tax payers in Malawi. The Figure is at 500,000 who support the remaining 13.5 million Malawians. We need to increase productivity that the base should automatically increase as informal traders graduate to small and medium enterprises that can employ and pay taxes.

2. There is a need to review the unpopular Pension bill to create room for people who have worked for at least 5 years to be able to withdraw from the pension fund. This allows people to get their savings and be able to invest and create employment for others. The suggested 55 to 60 years is very prohibitive for any productive citizen to be able to work or invest after working for long. Insurance policies have a minimum of 5 years which can be emulated.

3. The Financial Services Tax introduced on Bank Services should be retained. But it should become a special fund for funding Health sector interventions in Maternal and Child Health. By improving maternal and child health, we will decrease the cost of morbidity hence the money we spend on preventable deaths.

4. The following taxes have been deemed to have contributed to many small scale traders closing businesses and could be reviewed to revive the sectors:

  • PAYE could move down to 25 or 20 percent with the first USD 100 dollars being at zero tax bracket to mitigate the recent devaluation.
  • VAT on many basic things.
  • VAT on Newspapers which are already struggling to import newsprint and in a country with very low readership
  • Food taxes should go.
  • Hessian sack taxes should be reduced they double charge farmers
  • Duty on motor vehicles should be reduced.
  • Duty on returning residents does not make sense.
Further the Malawi Revenue Authority should not be used to enrich a few. Those that were removed from the list of clearing agents should be re-installed tough monitoring conditions should be applied. They were removed to accommodate a few businesses of political associates of such time.

MRA should also collect duty within the country for second hand motor vehicles. The vehicles are supposed to go into bond which allows other Malawians to create jobs. The desperation to raise money after they messed up was so huge.

Road Traffic Department should be revamped, so too Ministry of Transport and Public Works. The current Number Plates should be allowed to anyone with proven capacity. The Indians given are procuring substandard number plates costing K15,000.

The Ministry of Transport should be probed why it gave all the major contracts to Mota Engil. The company should not be awarded any further contracts until it completes the rest. Malawian owned construction firms should be given priority now to ensure that our money is not externalised.

We Pay Taxes, We Have a Say Campaign continues:

You can also sign up on the Robin Hood Tax Campaign- Tax the billions Banks and Lending agencies are making for Safe Motherhood!


kumbumalinda said…
I second you om the Pension Bill because the current one is forcing people to work till retirement age with no option
Hey K, where are people signing up for these campaigns? I like them both. MRA needs to seriously consider a strict monitoring mechanism...I know most businesses in town for example, businesses have two receipt books one for those items sold with taxes to show MRA and the other people buy without taxes. Maybe the best way is each item should be charged with tax included to avoid cheating so people pay based on what they have sold out rather than what is in the books...it maybe easier for MRA monitoring and the government should deliberate put together a mass tax awareness program that should target all peoples...including youth

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