Carstens defends new taxes

Finance Minister Agustin Carstens defended the 2010 budget plan, with its tax increases, before a hostile Chamber of Deputies. Carstens said that the financial markets would not finance a higher deficit, given the permanent reduction in oil export volumes. He said the proposed 2% anti-poverty tax would enable a major expansion of anti-poverty programs such as Oportunidades and food assistance, and said that for every peso the poor paid in higher taxes, they would receive back ten in social program benefits. Congressmen from the PRD, PT, and Convergencia unveiled a massive 12-meter banner while Carstens spoke that read, “No to the 2% Value Added Tax.” (Reforma 9/16)

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