Belmonte: Proposal to lower income taxes is dead

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House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has shut the door on the passage of a bill lowering income tax rates a day after President Benigno Aquino III scored proponents of the measure for using it to score brownie points with voters.

Belmonte said there’s no more use pushing for the approval of any of the various income tax reform measure filed in the House without Aquino’s support.

“Unless the President is 100 percent for it, it’s no use taking it in the limited time (we have),” he told reporters on Tuesday (Nov. 24).

Belmonte said he’d rather that the House use the limited time it has before adjourning in February 2016 for the campaign season for the next national elections to pass bills that Aquino will likely sign into law.

“If he’s against it, you better spend time your time on something that will get approved than on something that will not get approved just to prove a point,” he said.

Over the weekend, Aquino told reporters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia that while it’s very easy for some lawmakers to push for the lowering of income tax rates, it might have a negative long-term impact on the economy if legislated.

“So sa totoo lang, pulitiko rin naman ako, eh. Ang dali-dali magpapogi… hindi ba? Eleksyon, ‘bawasan natin ang buwis niyo!’,” the President noted.

“At sa totoo lang naman walong buwan na lang ako hindi ko na sasagutin ‘yan kung saka-sakaling may problema. Pero ‘yung konsyensya ko paano? Iyong ang daming sakit ng ulo, problema at mga walang kalutasan,” he added.