By Anna Chibamu
MDC Alliance Vice President and Harare East MP, Tendai Biti Thursday described as an “uneven and unequal burden” the taxes imposed by the government on millions of struggling ordinary Zimbabweans.
The opposition legislator made the remarks while debating on the Finance Bill in the House of Assembly Thursday where he went on to castigate the government’s taxing regime before calling it unprogressive.
The lawmaker also accused the government of burdening citizens by imposing and relying on taxes without looking at the status of the taxpayer.
“Since 2017, government has been intoxicated with a plethora of taxes that are very unprogressive. A progressive tax regime is one that recognises the class status of the citizen, the inequality of the citizen,” Biti said.
“However, the preponderance of finance minister (Mthuli Ncube) has been to impose taxes and to rely on taxes that place an uneven and unequal burden on the taxpayer, irrespective of the status of the taxpayer.”
He said there was a need when taxing citizens, for the government not to treat every person as equal.
“These taxes which are intoxicated including in the present Bill are unequal. My appeal and submission to him (Ncube) is to move away from unprogressive taxes that treat everyone as equal. There are many ways of netting in the informal sector.”
Debating on the same Bill, another opposition MP, Tapiwa Mashakada urged Ncube to consider imposing high taxes on the mining sector if the country expected to achieve its USD$12 billion economy.
“As you are quite aware, the government has targeted the mining sector as the lead sector to grow this economy because it is going to be a US$12 billion economy.”