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Thousands expected to protest VAT rise in Colombia

The Colombian Federation of Education Workers warns ordinary citizens will be worst hit

THOUSANDS are expected to take to the streets in Colombia tomorrow in protest against government tax rises that unions warn will be an assault on the pockets of the people.

The Colombian Federation of Education Workers (Fecode) and the Unitary Workers Union (CUT) called tomorrow’s demonstration in Bogota after right-wing President Ivan Duque proposed raising value added tax (VAT) as part of government plans to modernise the economy.

Mr Duque argued that the so-called “Financing Bill” is necessary to promote business competitiveness and restructure the Colombian tax system.

However the unions warned that ordinary citizens will be made to pay the price, claiming that 80 per cent of the products consumed by millions of Colombians will be hit by additional costs.

“Vegetables, fruits, legumes and almost all basic foods will have an increase of 18 per cent in the next year,” it said.

The union issued "an urgent call to raise our voice of protest, to strengthen the denunciation and to mobilise in the streets with the different social, political, academic and union sectors, in order to defeat this assault on the pockets of the Colombian people."

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