UNP Economic Affairs Spokesman Harsha De Silva yesterday issued a scathing criticism of the Government’s 2014 budget, saying it catered to Georgio Armani wearing super rich classes of people in the country while placing the entire tax burden on the poor man.
Reacting to yesterday’s Budget presented by the President in Parliament, De Silva said that the Government had inexplicably decided to remove import duties on designer brands like Louis Vitton, Georgio Armani and Salvadore Ferragano.
“A member of the royal family recently told a local newspaper that he only wears Louis Vitton belts and shoes – each of these cost USD 600 or USD 1200 at minimum – the tax waiver must be for their benefit,” the UNP MP charged in a reference to President Rajapaksa’s youngest son, Rohitha Rajapaksa’s pronouncements in an interview with the Daily Mirror a few months ago.
The Government had increased taxes on salt, sugar, dhal and the salmon tin, directly affecting the common man, de Silva said.
“Who asked the Government to reduce taxes on designer brands? How many of us wear Ferragano ties and Hugo Boss perfume? Why would we care if these products are taxed?” he asked.
De Silva said that the people had been begging for relief to be able to afford their food items, but the Government had effectively slapped them in the face.
“This is a budget for casino kings, it is completely anti-people,” he explained.
The UNP MP said that the Government’s economic policy was classic crony capitalism.