Tax policy should leverage inequality: Schlettwein

The amended income tax policy and measures should be fully implemented to leverage the fight of inequality in the country, Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein has said.

Schlettwein on Wednesday tabled the proposed income tax in the National Assembly for debate, the bill is to repeal certain manufacturers and goods for the purposes of phasing out tax exemptions pertaining to certain traders only and to provide for incidental matters.

Speaking at the annual general staff meeting here on Thursday, Schlettwein said the Namibian economy is extremely unequal and tax policy is one of the tools that needs to be leverage to help reduce inequality.

We must get our tax revenue from the areas of the economy that has the ability to contribute without harming their capacity to make meaningful business. We cannot sit still and observe that a significant large part of the population living in poverty, while few live-in wealth, the economy should be shared, he stressed.

He emphasised that it is important for the ministry staff to apply integrity and honesty during the duties to avoid solicits of tax bribes, relating to the recent incident where two Inland Revenue employees of the ministry in Walvis Bay appeared in court for corruptly using their office for personal gratification and receiving a bribe of N.dollars 20 000 from a tax payer.

It is terrible dishonest if you ask to solicit a bribe, dishonest on duties it is what I believe caused the arrest of the two employees. Institutions that are entrusted with public money cannot do that, he said.

Schlettwein noted that tragic events like the Fishrot case and unethical behaviour within the system is extremely harmful not only to the reputation of the treasury and the government but also to the future of the youth.

We could have had a better life would it not be for them for the damage they caused to the country so it is much more than reputational risk or how we are received, Schletwein strained.

Source: Namibia Press Agency