Haiti's interim government cancels taxes on money transfers, that were meant to finance free primary education

Posted by hougansydney.com on Sunday, May 8, 2016 Under: Interim Government

The interim government seems to have ended the collection of $ 1.50 in taxes on money transfers to Haiti.

Like many Haitians living in the diaspora, I sometimes both money to my family and friends still living in Haiti. This morning I was very surprised when the Western Union agent in Uniondale, New York, informed me that the tax was no longer applicable after the current Haitian government had canceled it.

This information has not yet been made public it seems.

National Fund for Education

During his presidential campaign Michel Martelly promised to increase a tax on money transfers and incoming phone calls to fund a free and compulsory primary education program. When Michel Martelly won the presidency in 2011, the National Fund for Education (FNE) was launched by Presidential decree.

Under the new law, 5 cents was collected on incoming calls and $ 1.50 on incoming and outgoing money transfers.

The collection of these taxes have been deemed illegal by the opposition in parliament, arguing that under the Haitian Constitution only Parliament is authorized to increase or reduce taxes.

Quarrels over the tax continued throughout the 5 year term of President Michel Martelly. The Haitian parliament refused to work with him or signed the decree into law or pass another law to improve it.

Their disagreement, however, did not prevent the law from going into force, and the administration of Martelly was able to collect millions of dollars so necessary in a country where government agencies's revenues are so scarce.

But due to lack of parliamentary approval, which also holds the power of the purse, the collected taxes are supposedly held at the National Bank, pending a decision of the parliament. But many in the opposition believe that the former president has used some of this money to fund the education program, anyway.

Compulsory primary education programs for children funded by the government, with or without the funds collected through taxes, have allowed tens of thousands of children to go to school. Children from families living in extreme poverty and unable to afford to send their kids to school.

Why Does the interim government canceled these tax collections?

It seems as if there is no legitimate reason to be honest.

An opposition that had done everything in their power to block this beneficial law to enter legality.

In addition to an electoral crisis, Haiti also is experiencing one of its worst economic crisis. The value of the national currency, the gourde, continues to deteriorate. U$1 = 60 Gdes. With such a shortage of currency in circulation; since we don't export anything, it is really irresponsible for the government to cancel decrees allowing the state to collect money to finance a program for free and compulsory education.

I and many others in the diaspora are pleased to contribute a mere $ 1.50 towards the goals of free education to tens of thousands of underprivileged Haitian children.

In : Interim Government 

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