Philippine fury at text tax
Filipino consumer groups have reacted with outrage to a proposed law imposing a tax on text and multimedia messages sent from mobiles.
Despite attempts to include a "no-pass-it-on" proviso in the bill it passed yesterday with no such safeguard.
Speaker Prospero C Nograles said: "We will not allow any such additional taxes on the shoulders of the public." He said he there was no need to increase the cost of texts paid by punters but that the tax should be extracted from mobile operators.
Messages typically cost a peso and the government wants only five cents in tax - or more for multimedia messages. Nograles reckons the tax amounts to about 20 per cent of operator profits on each message.
The Ways and Means Committee will now introduce a substitute bill which will include a provision that the tax must be paid by mobile operators. Any attempt to pass on the tax to punters will lead to suspension of their franchise licences.
Nograles's statement is here.
But Philippine consumer group TXTPower is unimpressed. It pointed out that the government already puts a 12 per cent tax on mobile services so a further tax was unjustified.
The group offered a well-worded alternative to filling the 36bn peso debt hole. TXTPower suggested: "By reallocating P4-million from each congressman’s pork barrel, P10-million from the Office of the President and 10 percent from the budget intended for debt servicing."
The full statement is here. ®
My parents go out there on a regular basis (something to do with church work) and regularly bring back the most depressing and vile stories of how this country's government is little more than a bunch of "East-End thugs in suits", but about twice as crooked.
Most of the people who live there consider themselves to be rich if they own a bag of rice.
Taxing the only way they can communicate in an affordable manner is another example of their corrupt and utterly despicable ruling class.
I wouldn't be surprised if there was a communist uprising there one day soon.
...if Darling Alistair reads The Reg ? Might give him and Gordo some ideas....... Another easy target like the motorist
they aint gonna spend more on the infrastructure whether the tax is increased or not. they keep signing up new people without doing anything about the network.
there are a lot of subscribers really starting to cross the line of "had enough, time to move to another network". some of my friends are now on Sun. 1 year ago this was really bad (i had to walk out into the street to get 1 bar of reception), but now the network is good and not too many subscribers. i guess as they get more popular they will go the same way.
as the other AC says there are far too many public holidays. they just had one for the death of the leader of the Iglesia ni Cristo church. next week its the end of ramadan. then in november they have parties in graveyards for all saints day (same day as halloween). lots of the lower work force are hired on 6 month contracts since the employers can avoid taxes, pensions, paperwork etc. maybe the government should concentrate on this tax avoidance loophole.
ok i was wrong, if they already pay 12% tax on text revenue then fair enough. that does seem like a decent amount. why should it be more. the problem when raising this tax rate is how do you increase the text rate. 1.5 is too much and the level of competition will keep this down. 1.1 or 1.2 is just plain silly.
600m texts will not amount to £6m since, as i mentioned, a lot of these are on unlimited plans but it sure is a large amount of revenue per day. there are also problems with buying credit then it just disappears (a problem already highlighted by a senator). i just feel that the service of the two major companies has drastically declined recently and it's not acceptable. granted - forcing them to pay more tax is not really going to help, and the extra tax will just inflate pork barrels further.
@Grease Monkey - and why shouldn't they be taxed on their profits. they are profiteering from the general public on a product that you have no choice but to buy (or indirectly buyt. isn't it price fixing when the price is higher than it should be? in the philippines the three major oil companies (shell, petron & caltex) pocket 170bn pesos profit every day. i can't imagine how many gold plated gravestones this pays for.