Don’t tax employees earning below N200k, CPPE urges govt

THE Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) has called  on government  to exempt any employee earning a gross salary of N200,000 and below from payment of personal income tax, known as Pay As You Earn (PAYE).

The CPPE’s Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Muda Yusuf, made the call in a statement he issued on ‘Fuel Subsidy Removal: Ensuring Inclusive, Impactful and Sustainable Palliative Measures.’

Yusuf urged, “Gross monthly salaries of N200,000 and below should be exempted from payment of Personal Income Tax [PAYE]. This will give the low-income earners some room to improve their spending capacity and reduce poverty.

“Employers, especially thriving medium and large enterprises, should be persuaded by government to provide buses for their employees, if they are not already doing so. This will complement the intervention of government in this respect. Where possible, employers should provide lunch vouchers for their staff.”

The ICIR had reported how transportation fares surged, within and across the states, since May 29 after President Bola Tinubu declared fuel subsidy “is gone”, and how the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) raised the pump price of fuel to as high as N550 from N185 per litre.

According to the CPPE boss, the pains inflicted on the citizens by the sudden fuel subsidy removal, especially the vulnerable segments of society, were severe.

He, thereby, appealed for Federal and state governments, and private sector interventions.

“The sufferings are real and affecting the citizens across all segments of our society – public service, private sector, informal sector, artisans, students, SMEs, the unemployed, the aged, pensioners etc.

“There is, therefore, a need for urgent responsive actions from all tiers of government. The mitigating measures should be holistic and inclusive, and should be driven by a combination of direct interventions, fiscal policy measures and monetary policy actions,” Yusuf said.

He also stressed the need to reduce the number of days workers are required to be physically present at work.

He said, “We need to entrench remote working culture in the public and private sectors, where practicable. Employers should leverage technology in their operations as the nature of work is changing globally.”

The CPPE boss asserted that the private sector has a responsibility to provide palliatives for their employees.

“Government should prevail on private sector employers, especially the medium to large enterprises, to complement the efforts of government in the introduction of measures to cushion the negative social effects of the subsidy removal outcomes.  It should be a call to give capitalism a human face,” he said.

Yusuf, likewise, called for an upward revision of wages in the private sector to reflect current inflationary pressures.

“They should provide mass transit buses for their employees, ensure the provision of health insurance and, possibly, provide lunch vouchers for their low cadre staff,” he said.

He also called on the government to leverage monetary policy measures to provide soft loans for small businesses as a critical component of the palliatives.






     

     

    “The microfinance banks should be incorporated into such a scheme in order to deepen inclusion. This would facilitate output growth and job creation in this very important segment of the economy,” he said.

    Yusuf further called on the government to cut its cost of governance.

    He submitted, “The sacrifices of the moment should not be limited to the working class and ordinary citizens.  The political leadership at all levels must commit to reduction in the cost of governance.

    “Number of political appointees, advisers, salaries and allowances, foreign trips, etc., should be trimmed to reflect the current mood of the nation.  In addition to the symbolic significance, this would support the fiscal consolidation agenda of the government.”

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