Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has stated clearly that the Government does not want to see ordinary Papua New Guinean workers face a double tax.
The Prime Minister said workers have been paying tax every fortnight and their contributions to superannuation funds such as the Nambawan Super and Nasfund are also taxed.
The Prime Minister said the last thing the government wants to see is workers who retire taxed again on their final payout.
He said the Government, through the Treasurer, has established a tax review committee which is currently reviewing the current taxation regime.
O’Neill was responding to queries from the OK Tedi Mining Workers Union in a meeting last week.
Workers have come to an understanding with their employer, OK Tedi Mining Limited, that those who have reached their retirement age will be fully paid out.
A workers spokesman named Michael, who called from Kiunga to the FM100 talkback show on Tuesday, urged the prime minister to clarify the Government’s position on heavily taxing people who have contributed to the development of the country by paying fortnightly taxes to the state.
The union members were concerned about the high tax imposed on their final entitlements as well as the savings and asked for the tax to final payouts be drastically reduced.
O’Neill in response said he did not want to pre-empt any recommendations by the taxation review committee, which includes former IRC Commissioner Sir Nagora Bogan and former Australian Treasurer Peter Costello.
“The last thing that we want is to tax them twice,” Mr O’Neill said, adding that the Government will wait for the review and the recommendations from the committee before taking up a position.
The Prime Minister also said the Government was mindful of the current challenges with the fall in world commodity prices that would have an effect on the outcome of the 2014 budget.
But he assured the nation that the Government was not considering burdening its people with any tax increases.