Sri Lanka opposition says politicians could be taxed

Jan 12, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s opposition says the issue of politicians being taxed could be looked at early in a future new administration if common candidate ex-general Sarath Fonseka becomes president. Fonseka who is backed by both the United National Party and Marxists Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has promised the 10,000 rupee salary hike for state workers which the ruling coalition says will cost 132 billion rupees a year.

In a bizarre break down of the principle of rule of law and equality, Sri Lanka’s state workers and politicians have been exempt from income taxes on their salaries and pensions from the 1980s, under a UNP administration.

Taxation with representation is a fundamental feature of a democracy.

In the nine months to September 2009, 58 percent of all taxes collected from the people have been paid as salaries and taxes to state workers.

Sri Lanka’s current constitution, which the concentrates executive powers with the President, was also enacted by the same administration in 1978. Fonseka has pledged to change the constitution, trim executive powers, and make the parliament stronger.

New private enterprises, especially those with foreign investment was also given ta