The organisation that represents most of Peru’s larger business groups, Confiep, has registered its opposition to changes to the tax legislation. María Isabel León, Confiep’s president, made clear this week that she considered that “it is not the right moment to talk of increasing taxes”. There has been considerable discussion in recent weeks over the suggestion that a wealth tax be introduced to help fund increased government activity to fight the effects of the Covid-19 virus.
Analysts such as Francisco Durand have argued that what Peru needs is a comprehensive redesign of its tax system (which relies heavily on indirect taxes like VAT) and the introduction of taxes that will hit the wealthiest sectors of society. Referring to earlier comments by Roque Benavides, the former president of Confiep and a major mining magnate, that a wealth tax would be an “ideological absurdity”, Durand said “those who have earned extraordinarily well in Peru [from the mining bonanza] now do not want anyone to touch their income”.
In his Sunday address on 3 May, President Martín Vizcarra broached the subject saying that the details would have to await the granting by Congress of special emergency powers to legislate on such matters. Economy Minister Mariantonieta Alva said that she was evaluating alternatives with consideration as to “equity and efficiency” as well as timing.
León also said that Confiep was in disagreement with the government’s proposed regulations with respect to reactivating production. She said that these were excessively detailed and unduly demanding for businesses, pointing to requirements for businesses over a certain size to have medical staffs present. “They seem to be designed for a European country” she remarked in an interview with Canal N.