Speaker withdraws motion to debate VAT on Education


The People’s Progressive Party was prepared to table a motion in the National Assembly on Monday, May 08, 2017, calling for the revocation of VAT on private education. The motion was intended to also test the Alliance For Change (AFC) which has publicly condemned the policy.


After months of weekly protests, a petition signed by 14,000 people, and growing hardships of parents and students as a result of the inhumane and onerous imposition of VAT on education goods and services, the government intervened and hammered another nail in Article 13 of the constitution.

A motion which the Speaker himself amended and approved was unceremoniously and suddenly withdrawn by the Speaker on grounds which are irregular, spurious and ludicrous.

The AFC, desperate to not be exposed for duplicity, having publicly called for the review of VAT on education, and, the government, desperate to impose unity on this issue within the shaky coalition, put pressure on the Parliament Office to remove the PPPC’s motion calling for the revocation of VAT on education goods and services and its reinstatement as zero rated.

This development exposes the Speaker as complicit in the executive’s unfolding objective to seize control over the legislature.

Civil society, individuals and communities have been demonstrating peacefully their views on a wide range of concerns that impact on their daily lives– the sugar workers, rice farmers, the Private Sector, the Movement against the Parking meters, the movement against Vat on education goods and services, the removal of the ban on used tyres, and thousands of individuals in their private capacity on the social media–yet the government’s only concern is to ensure that the people’s voices are not heard,  even in the highest law making body of the country.

We call on our people to be ever vigilant in exposing and speaking out against the whittling away of parliamentary democracy, our human rights and the constitution.

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