Guatemalan lawmakers propose tax on "super rich" during crisis

The opposition parliamentary group Movimiento Semilla proposed this Thursday an initiative before Congress so that the "super rich" of Guatemala, who represent 0.1 percent of the population, raise their contributions during the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are presenting a bill of extraordinary contribution to the crisis," said Congressman and Secretary General of Semilla, Samuel Pérez Álvarez, in order to create "a special range within the Income Tax for 0.1 percent more affluent, the 'super rich' in the population. "

The initiative seeks that those with incomes above 5 million quetzales annually (more than $ 648,000) pay 30 percent of Income Tax (ISR) and those who earn more than 600,000 quetzales a year (about $ 78,000) contribute 10 percent of the ISR.

Pérez Álvarez assured that there are some 630 people in the country, counting the private and public sectors, who would be "affected" by this measure, with which, however, they would manage to raise more than 2,200 million quetzales (285.3 million dollars) to deal with the crisis.

"The contribution seems small, but it could go, for example, to those who were dismissed today and are without any protection from the State," said Pérez Álvarez, who stressed that up to 700,000 jobs, between formal and informal, have been affected by the crisis. .

The Seed congressmen pointed out that this measure would cover deputies, ministers, magistrates, president, vice president and large businessmen.

"We invite those who have more income, verifiable according to the tax system, to be in solidarity with those who have less," said the deputy and former Minister of Health Lucrecia Hernández Mack.

His bench partner Samuel Pérez explained that the initiative "will create the conditions for the country to reduce its dependence on foreign banks to get out of the crisis, but that it can do so with the own capacities of Guatemalans and Guatemalans."

In addition, Congresswoman Ligia Hernández pointed out that the changes "will in no way affect those who are now having a hard time, on the contrary, they are measures that encourage those who have the most to contribute the most to the common good."

The Central American country recorded its first case of coronavirus on March 13 and since then 585 people have been infected, including 16 deceased.

The Government is waiting to make aid to the population in May after a budget expansion of almost 2,025 million dollars in April to face the health emergency.

60 percent of the 16 million Guatemalans live in poverty and one in every two children born in the country suffer from malnutrition.


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