Government seeks $500m

Government must collect an extra $500m annually , says the Fiscal Review Committee. Picture: FILE

GOVERNMENT must collect an extra $500 million annually from Customs, excise duties and value added tax after compensating measures for low-income households that will set the country on a more certain path for stronger economic growth, states the Fiscal Review Committee in its report.

The committee states the Government is, and has for some time, been seriously under-funded.

“We cannot expect better services from the Government unless we are prepared to shoulder, through taxation, the monetary burden that is needed for those services — and to better manage the government debt that has accumulated in the last decade,” the committee said.

“New revenue is needed to fund not just urgently needed infrastructure, but more effective administration and additional recurrent spending on health.”

The committee said options for Government to collect additional $500 million in revenue were narrow as only 20,000 Fiji citizens pay any personal income tax, the corporate tax increases being proposed will only bring in $60-70 million and returning Departure Tax to $200 by 2025, adds $75 million to government’s coffers.

“This leaves only the consumption base — Customs and excise duties and VAT — as an effective source of taxation.”

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