Thursday, December 31, 2015

Welcome, Even if Belated

Welcome, Even if Belated / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar
Posted on December 30, 2015

14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 30 December 2015 — Among the
surprises brought by the last session of the National Assembly of
People's Power, one could mention the announcement by the Minister of
Finance and Prices, Lina Pedraza, that as of 2016 there would be an
exemption from taxes on the profits of Basic Production Cooperative
Units (UBPC) – other than those involved in sugar production – as well
as on Credit and Service Cooperatives (CCS), as long as more than half
their revenues come from agricultural production. The announcement has
been well received, although there are many who believe that such a
measure should have been implemented long ago and not as a temporary

The more surprising surprise – forgiving the redundancy – was the
inclusion of owners and lessees of land in the non-sugar sector, who in
this case will be freed from annual taxes on personal income. To
free those who plant and harvest from all the accounting implied in
these statements, and to accept that the more they produce the more they
will earn, could be beneficial not only for those with their feet and
hands in the earth, but could reduce, over the long term, the prices of
agricultural products, a ubiquitous demand from all voters to their
delegates in the local "Assemblies of Accountability"

Finally, it was also announced that no taxes will be paid on the use of
workforce personnel directly contracted for production. This could
benefit both cooperatives, lessees and owners, as at peak times during
cultivation and harvest the use of casual labor is essential. The exodus
from agricultural areas – especially of young people – is due, among
other reasons, to the bureaucratic limitations that don't allow free
movement of the workforce and which give rise to the phenomenon of
"ghost agreements," where day laborers lack all rights and protection.

For a long time, even from positions held by the opposition, there have
been demands that those who produce food for the population should be
freed from tax burdens, which could help boost production and ensure
supply. If implemented as announced, agricultural food producers would
be freed from the fear that making money would lead to the imposition of
taxes that can suck the blood out of those who declare the highest profits.

The measure could be evaluated as a pragmatic step, but also as an
ideological concession to the obsession that farmers not get rich, a
typical ramification from the times of classic Fidelism.

Source: Welcome, Even if Belated / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar |
Translating Cuba -

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