Kingdom of Eswatini to stop tax on poor people and heavily tax the high earners

Kingdom of Eswatini Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg, PHOTO: Swazi Observer

Johannesburg, South Africa (ADV) – Kingdom of Eswatini, Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg recently mentioned that it was necessary to lift the tax burden off the poor and heavily tax the high earners as the government seeks to stimulate the economy, Swazi Observer reported.

This came to light when Rijkenberg was responding to questions posed by Members of Parliament (MPs) during the budget debate on Monday.

“The budget is aimed at closing the gap between the rich and the poor,” said Rijkenberg.

“It is necessary to lift the tax burden off the poor and heavily tax the high earners. This would shorten the gap between the rich and poor. We proposed that high earners’ pay as you earn (PAYE) tax should be increased from 33 to 36 per cent. The low-income earners should be given a rebate on taxes. Those who earn from E55 000 per year in order to start paying taxes. At the moment, the tax threshold starts from those earning from E41 000 per year.”

Meanwhile, the minister said they have also noted that Emaswati generally and some of those living in this country heavily participated in what he termed as ‘shadow economy’.

He described the shadow economy, or black market, as economic activities that happened outside the parameters of the law.

Rijkenberg further underlined that the shadow economy accounted for about 37.5 per cent of the country’s economy. It was important that some of the basic commodities’ prices were hiked in order to get the ‘shadow economists’ to also participate in paying at least the consumption taxes to stimulate the economy and get the poor to also participate in the economy.

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