Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos lied about his proposed tax reform, according to Senator Jorge Robledo Thursday.
Santos lied to the Colombian public when he asserted, “those who earn less pay less, while those that earn more pay more,” according to Senator Jorge Robledo.
“If I lie, I resign from the Senate, but if Santos lies, does he quit the presidency? He should not be lying to Colombians,” said the Alternative Democratic Pole senator.
“With the reform we are proposing, not only will we not raise tax rates, but we will reduce and eliminate several of them,” assured Santos. “When one speaks of tax reform the people tremble because they automatically think the tax rate will be raised…yet this is not the case this time.”
The head of state argued the proposal is designed to achieve greater equality and generate more decent jobs. “Until today we had seven value added tax (VAT) rates and the proposed reform reduces three of them, which makes the system much simpler and also easier to collect and calculate,” the president said.
Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas announced the proposed reform earlier this month claiming, “On average, people who earn more…will have to pay more taxes.” A key tenet is reportedly to reduce the rate of payroll tax for companies and therefore assist workers.
Conversely, Robledo concluded that the reform is calculated to reduce taxes on large corporations and the burden increases on the middle-class and the poor.
Debate on the initiative began in congress on Wednesday.