The Trade Unions Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) wants the government to reduce tax burden on workers and instead ensure the tax net covers more members of the business community and investors.
TUCTA said workers have been contributing 46 percent of the national income while traders and investors contribute only 24 percent.
TUCTA President Omary Jumaa revealed this yesterday in Dar es Salaam when briefing the media on resolutions reached by TUCTA’s Executive Committee in its meeting held between December 13 and 14 this year in Morogoro.
Jumaa said that the government has been concentrating on the Pay As You Earn (P.A.Y.E) tax as the major source of its income leaving out investors and big businessmen who make huge profits in the country but pay very little tax or none at all.
He said there are some workers whose P.A.Y.E is up to 1m/- just because they are in the system and cannot avoid paying.
The TUCTA president asked the government to intensify measures to curb revenues losses occasioned by traders and investors and relieve the workers from bearing the most burden.
“Workers are exploited through paying large amounts of taxes while others are leading luxurious lives and enjoying the country’s resources…the government should take actions to reduce this burden to the extent where workers should pay a single digit percentage of their earnings as tax,” he said.
The TUCTA boss added that the committee has discovered that the working environment in the country is still not satisfactory citing difficult situations in most work places which are yet to be addressed.
He noted that currently most workers survive on 3000/- to 4000/- per day. These are those who are paid 70,000/- to 100,000/- per month. This group comprises the large number of workers who are in private sector.
Jumaa also touched on the public sector where a civil servant is paid 5,700/- per day which equals the gross salary of 170,000/- per month which could not even satisfy the daily needs of the worker.
He acknowledged the shortage of employment opportunities in the country, proposing the improvement and concentration of vocational training colleges as a solution to the problem because many youth shall get various technical trainings which will enable them employ themselves.
Furthermore, TUCTA has asked the government to factor a 100 per cent salary increase in its budget, while reducing workers’ income tax to 11 per cent of their salaries for the financial year of 2013/2014 in a bid to improve workers living standards.
Responding to questions raised by journalists on government capacity to increase the proposed wages; Jumaa said that there were many sources for income that the government could exploit, adding that if the sources are well controlled the government can pay even beyond the proposed amount, adding that TUCTA is ready to reveal the sources of the income.