Aug 062012

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine demanded the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah cancel its plans to increase the Value-Added Tax (VAT) by 1% in September, and urged political and social forces to build a broader movement to reject high prices, making life needs increasingly inaccessible for the popular classes. Increasing the VAT by 1% only compounds the rapid increase in prices for everything, including basic food items, and thus, the continued deterioration of the living conditions for the overwhelming majority of our people. The Palestinian popular classes bear the brunt of the occupation, settlement, and aggression, and the price increases threaten their livelihood.

The Front urged the Palestinian Legislative Council to take action to control the behaviour of the government and its monopolistic practices that are threatening the fundamental rights and interests of the people, and said that they must act to implement a minimum living wage, social protections, education and health services, and maintenance of public freedoms and civil rights, as well as to defend the interests of their constituents to stop the implementation of the VAT increase.

The Front also called upon trade unions and NGOs to organize and reject the PA’s flimsy justifications for further burdening the people while it tramples their interests night and day in pursuit of so-called political, economic and security agreements with the occupier and oppressor. Our people reject these agreements as a bitter humiliation.

The PFLP also stated that basic food items should not only be exempt from a tax increase, they should be exempt entirely from taxes. Raising the tax to 15.5% exposes the weakness of the Authority and its utter disregard for the poor and working class and even middle class Palestinians, and its gluttony to bring in money at any costs, ignoring the growing burden of taxes and debt upon our people. It is important to note that the majority of budget expenditures are wasted on security and security services to support the occupation, while almost nothing is invested to support farmers and agricultural production, which should be recognized as an essential component of national resources, sovereignty and food security.

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