Colombia’s latest budget proposal looks set to pay for education, infrastructure and post-conflict measures by increasing the tax burden in Colombian taxpayers, according to the country’s Deputy Finance Minister on Wednesday.
Deputy Finance Minister, Andrés Escobar stated during the forum ‘Economic Prospects’ that it is possible that Colombians will need to contribute more through taxes in the coming year.
His comments come a week after Colombia’s Finance Minister outlined a $110 billion national budget to Congress, who in turn are now debating the various proposals before legislating.
Escobar said more resources are needed to adjust the 2015 budget and cover expenses which President Santos has touted as a list of “social priorities for a time of peace.”
Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas confirmed that there will be a meeting with the speakers of the bill on the budget to address current shortages such as falling oil revenues. Colombia’s oil giants are large contributors to Colombia’s bottom line, but a steady number of guerrilla attacks on oil infrastructure in 2014 has meant decreased contributions to government coffers.
The Chamber representative, Jorge Camilo Abril, one of the proponents of the proposed budget who will meet on Monday with Cardenas said the proposal is to draw on an increase in the overall rate of VAT from 16 % to 17%.
The proposed tax reform will look to process the $6.5 billion missing in the 2015 budget and will address the need to generate more income.
Cardenas has continued to argue that any proposals to increase spending would have to come with new funding measures as well, including possible rises to taxes.