PDP rejects moves by government to raise VAT, Excise Duties

The Opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming February 16 Presidential election has denounced plans by the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to increase the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) as well as Excise duty rates on goods and services being used by Nigerians.

The Party and its campaign say such a plan is cruel, anti-people and further exposes President Buhari as uncaring and insensitive to the plight of Nigerians, who are already overburdened and groaning under the economic hardship occasioned by his harsh policies and incompetence in office.

The PDP said that “President Buhari is aware that the increase in taxes directly results in increase in the costs of common goods and services on which families depend for survival, yet he is imposing them on the system.

“It is indeed heartrending that at a time other leaders all over the world are seeking ways to lift burdens off the shoulders of their citizens, President Buhari is rather planning to put more burden on Nigerians, if he is allowed to continue in office beyond May 29.

“President Buhari has shown that he lacks the capacity to harness our nation’s resources to create wealth for the benefit of Nigerians, but harbours the plan to fleece the people with stringent taxes. A vote for President Buhari is therefore a vote for more economic hardship in our country.

The Federal Government on Wednesday unveiled its Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI) for sustainable revenue generation in various sectors of the economy, part of which is to increase Excise Duty rates on certain goods as well as Value Added Tax (VAT) from the current 5%.

The initiatives which is still being studied by the government includes excise duty rate increase on carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) and VAT increase on luxury goods such as champagne, among others.

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