SJB alleges that it is a serious problem that the people have to take to the streets, as they have been burdened with heavy taxes while the working people have lost their income.
As a result, the food insecurity, increased mal-nutrition and prevention of diseases have become a big problem for the people, said Eran Wickramaratne, Member of Parliament of Samagi Jana Balawega.
Speaking at a Media briefing at the Office of the Leader of Opposition he also requested the President and the government to protect the middle class employees by increasing the existing PAYE tax threshold from existing Rs One hundred thousand to Two hundred thousand immediately without pushing the middle income earner as dependent who are now looking after their own affairs.
As it is estimated to lose around Rs.4 billion by this increase, he said he would suggest to the government that this amount could be recovered by increasing the threshold of high income earners. As an extension of the situation that prevailed in the year 2021, until today, due to the continuous economic decline in the country amidst political instability, people
have had to skip meals that has led to malnutrition of our younger generation.
This also affects the intellectual level, physical and mental development of children. The current government's economic model has been that the haves have no issues at all and the have-not have nothing for their survival, they are facing difficulties in every way.
The MP Further said that in the background job losses of over five hundred
thousand in the last year alone, the government has failed to provide relief to the people even though the people have lost their income while the malnutrition increased. Giving cash benefits of five thousand rupees to poor people from time to time without a plan to properly manage the economy is not a solution to the problem. Country cannot be taken forward without first establishing political stability followed by economic stability.
Even months after a new government under a new president assumed office, they are always talking about the assistance of the International Monetary Fund. It said at the beginning of 2022 that it would be available by September, after that it was said it would be available in the last quarter of 2022.
After that, it was said that it would be received before the end of the first quarter of 2023 proving the government lives on dates like Arabs.
At the time the country faces economic crisis under this government the Samagi Jana Balawega pointed out to the government from the beginning to protect the vulnerable in the society that should be protected, but it did not care. It is sad that this government has pushed the middle class people to become dependent on the government.
The opposition is not against taxation because we are aware that government ne who to be taxed and had done that properly, there would not have been an atmosphere where professionals and middle-class employees would campaign against the government.
Wickramaratne stated that although SJB warned the government in this regard, the government ignored it due to wrong advice.
"Many people such as ordinary teachers, doctors, nurses, who earn income from their employment alone, cannot be prevented from losing their income due to these stupid actions of the government and becoming dependent. There is a possibility of more people being pushed toward below the poverty line because of this.
" he said
Eran Wickramaratne urged the government to protect the middle class by
increasing the existing PAYE tax threshold of Rs one hundred thousand to at least to two hundred thousand immediately. It is expected to lose. He suggested that the proposed loss of revenue from PAYE could be offset by increasing the tax percentage of high income earners.