The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the economy of every country throughout the world. However, President Ivan Duque Marquez of Colombia has taken different measures from those in the United States. He is proposing a tax reform and not a stimulus that could further hurt the economy of Colombia.
Colombia is going through a COVID spike in the spring of 2021. There have been concerns that many people still are not complying with safety measures even after their three lockdowns. Colombia’s lockdowns had strict curfews, and if people violated the curfews, they would get hosed down by the firefighters and police officers.
Now Colombian citizens also need to worry about the tax reform. This reform is putting a higher income tax on everyone with a monthly income of $656. The tax reform is increasing the basic cost of goods, necessities, and utilities. Many Colombian people cannot afford food, water, gas, internet, electricity or any of their bills.
Imagine the hardship if citizens get a bill from the hospital of someone that has COVID, there are already 3.5 million Colombians dropped below the poverty line in 2020 alone, 42.7% of Colombia’s population is in poverty. An income tax or tax increase will be another hardship for the citizens of Colombia.
Since April 28, 2021 there have been protests and calls for a general strike. The government’s security forces have been accused of over-agressive tactics in responding. The story out of Colombia reminds citizens of the world of the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching consequences throughout the world.