BANDUNG, unpas.ac.id – Government plan on imposing Value-added Tax (VAT) on educational service and staff/and staple keeps getting more critiques. Other than being factors leading to inflation, the execution of VAT on both sectors also violates the principles of public policy.
Public policy observer as well as Unpas Vice Rector III Dr. H. Deden Ramdan, M.Si said that all forms of policies related to the public interest must at least pay attention to and fulfill three conditions.
“First, it needs to prioritize the values of benefit and think wisely. Second, public policy must be based on objectivity and rationality. Third, it needs to refer to the formal legal aspect. Before the policy is made, take the steps clearly, carefully, and measurably, based on a strong argument,” he explained on Saturday (June 19th, 2021).
Instead of imposing VAT on educational service and basic necessities, he suggested that the government better normalize the automotive tax and property and real estate construction taxes which are included in the classification of business fields (Klasifikasi Lapangan Usaha, KLU).
In addition, it can take advantage of four tax incentives at once, namely Article 21 PPh borne by the government, exemption from Article 22 Import PPh, 30 percent discount on Article 25 PPh installments, as well as accelerated VAT refunds which, according to him, benefit only a few parties, including importers, as well as the policy of raising prices of cigarettes and liquor.
“On one side, people’s basic necessities are imposed by the tax, but on the other side, for example automotive (for certain brands), there are zero percent tax. If it is still continued, I predict that the income of Revenue Expenditur Budget Plan (Anggaran Pendapatan Belanja Negara, APBN) from taxes of both sectors are not going to be allocated in the same sector at all, but it will be diverted to another budget plan,” he added.
This condition, he observed, will only create a public distrust to the government. The policy is considered to be increasingly miserable for the low-income society and seems to threaten the upper middle class.
“This is irrational, even contrary to the spirit of the constitution. How will the quality of the nation improve if education is taxed? What exists is that school fees are expensive and it is difficult to distribute education evenly, as well as increasing the human development index as a support for the progress of a nation,” he explained.
He understood that the government is currently meddling with hard and difficult situation now, but they cannot be reckless to step their move on something like this. Government should be clever in analyzing what might be done to cover the budget deficit and increase revenue.
If it is still forced to be implemented, it will surely give bad impact to the government image and reputation right now. This is unfortunate, because the level of public trust in Jokowi’s leadership is still relatively high.
“Public trust reaches 75,6% (Survey of SMRC, May 2021), for example regarding the succeed of infrastructure, reposition of ministry and institution, and the revived State-owned Enterprises (Badan Usaha Milik Negara, BUMN) as well. But everything will be damaged if the VAT policy is set. The government would bet, with the circumstances it created itself, to get out of the crisis in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic which actually needs support from all elements of the nation,” he continued.
However, Deden believes, given the current developments, that it is possible that this issue will be forced into the national legislation program (program legislative nasional, prolegnas), remembering strong rejection from the society. Even the government coalition parties explicitly refuse, and ask the government to stop it. (Reta)*