Public oppose new chicken tax
The recent passing of the Customs and Tariff Bill in Parliament means new tariff rates will be imposed on all imported chicken. This is a grave concern given that chicken is one of the most affordable meat for families living below the poverty line and middle income earners. Taxing such goods is no doubt a burden on these families because a decent meal every day is now being robbed from them with price increase. Our reporter, Ulimasao Fata asked the public on their opinion on Government’s move to tax imported frozen chicken. This is what they said:
Eseta Faasao, 42, Falelauniu
I disagree with the Government on increasing the tax on chicken given the cost of living that we have today in Samoa. Increasing the tax for chicken because of health reasons, I don’t think that’s even right because the cost of living is already at its peak today. Everything in Samoa today is getting so expensive that most people could not afford it. I only hope that the Government could have considered that chicken today in Samoa is much cheaper than of tinned fish.
Lui Mareko, 34, Faleula
I don’t support the Government with this plan. The first thing today is that the cost of living is really expensive and chicken is the only affordable source of meat that people consume every day. If they are planning to increase the tax on chicken, then they should be increasing the salary of the people to make it square and even. It’s really hard lately here in Samoa because the salaries people are getting just can’t meet the cost of living that we have in our country. So that’s what I think, if they want to increase the tax on chicken, might as well increase the labour salary.
Lima Salatielu, 38, Toamua
I don’t support the Government’s plan to increase the tax on chicken because if you look at Samoa today, it’s already expensive especially when chicken is now sold in kilos unlike back then when it was sold in pounds. Another reason I don’t support the increase on tax is because that’s what most people can afford today, apart from turkey tail.
Even the tinned fish is expensive as well and now they are going to increase the price of chicken, I don’t think that’s a right move. I think if the Government is increase the price of chicken, then might as well increase wage rate because this will help the people.
Waldell Brown, 58, Leauva’a-Uta
It is such a ridiculous move. My family eats chicken almost every day because that’s the only meat we can afford. It’s an excuse when they said the extra tax on chicken is for health reasons. I have been eating chicken when I was a kid, I am 58 years old now and I am still strong and well. You will not get sick from chicken if you know how to avoid the oil in it, from taking out the fat around the skin before cooking it.
If they are going to increase the tax on chicken, they might as well decrease the price on the tinned fish then, or even increase the minimum wage rate.
Vaine’a Faatafe, 65, Nu’u
I didn’t even know that the Bill was already passed. It isn’t a good move by our Government to increase the tax on chicken. Chicken is the most affordable meat source there is, and that’s the only thing that is saving our people from the high cost of living we have today. There is no problem on increasing the price of smokes and alcohol, but increasing tax on chicken, it’ll affect so many people because the cost of living is already high, and it’s not helping our people at all.