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AfricaMoney | August 18, 2017

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Mauritius Budget 2015: FTU demands abolition of tax on food items

Mauritius Budget 2015: FTU demands abolition of tax on food items

The Federation President Atma Shanto noted that the government should instead increase taxes on gaming, or impose taxes on Independent Power Producers (IPP) who generate energy from coal within the framework of the ‘Maurice Ile Durable’ (MID) project. (Image: Mauritius Tourist Guide)

With Mauritius’ Budget 2015 expected to be read in November, the ‘Fédération des travailleurs unis’ (FTU, or Federation of United Workers) put forward the submission that the government should consider abolishing tax on essential items such as food.

In a press briefing in Port-Louis at the start of the week, FTU President Atma Shanto observed that most deprived families face increased difficulty in meeting basic needs due to increase in the price of food items.

Atma Shanto also noted that the government should instead increase taxes on gaming or impose taxes on Independent Power Producers (IPP) who generate energy from coal, within the framework of the ‘Maurice Ile Durable’ (MID) project.

For private sector employees, the FTU demanded the setting up of new Remuneration Orders for emerging sectors such as BPO and landscaping firms.

According to Atma Shanto, the Federation also demands the publication of the National Remuneration Board report and wishes that it would be done every three years as a usual practice, just as it is done every five years for public sector employees.

During the press briefing, the FTU President also repeated his support for the introduction of a minimum wage.

Besides, the Federation has once again expressed its disapproval on the practice of asking candidates for character certificates when they apply for jobs in the private sector.

“How can we speak about the rehabilitation of those who have faced a prison sentence, and, in the same breath, condone such unfair practices which prevent them from securing a job and staying on the path of rehabilitation,” said Atma Shanto.

Regretting the heavy hand of management on labor-union representatives in the private sector, the FTU proposes that the officers attached to the Human Rights Commission are trained and posted at regional employment offices, in order to better help Union representatives.

Moreover, the FTU president added that every employee must benefit from at least 45 minutes of time-off pay.

In addition, Atma Shanto expressed the opinion that basic utilities such as water supply and public transport must remain the responsibility of the state, as they impact the day-to-day expenses of the island population.

Finally, the union activist declared that the agreement between the CEB and the IPP must be made public as it involves the hard-earned money of tax payers, hence the fixing of electricity tariffs under the CEB-IPP agreement should be done in a transparent manner.

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