Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has given up on a proposed law seeking to adjust income tax rates to inflation, saying there was no time to pass the measure during the 16th Congress.
The measure was a compromise to the original proposal to lower income and corporate tax rates, which was opposed by Malacanang. Even the compromise measure adjusting income tax levels to inflation was thumbed down by the Palace.
“There’s no time for a real big tax reform which is needed, because adjusting the levels of taxable income to inflation is a very partial reform; we should have more time for bigger reform,” Belmonte said.
Based on the legislative calendar, Congress will adjourn on December 19 and resume on January 19, 2016. The third and last regular session of the 16th Congress is expected to be cut short, because of the 2016 national and local elections in May.
“You better spend your time on something that will get approved rather than what will not be approved. Our time better spent on other things that are doable, desirable,” said Belmonte, the chairman emeritus of the National Unity Party (NUP).
The Department of Finance said the proposal to either lower income tax rates or adjust them to inflation would lead to foregone revenues amounting to as much P30 billion, representing 1.5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).