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In Colombia, Protests Risk Stalling a Crucial Tax Reform

MIN READMay 24, 2021 | 19:03 GMT

People gather in the streets of Bogota, Colombia, to participate in anti-government protests on May 15, 2021.

(VIEW press/Corbis via Getty Images)

In Colombia, widespread protests and congressional hesitancy will likely either significantly scale back or completely stop the government’s proposed tax reform, threatening the economy’s post-pandemic recovery. Nationwide protests going into their third week threaten both the passage of tax reforms to make fiscal deficit more sustainable and the continuation of a nationwide cash-transfer program started during the pandemic. On April 15, President Ivan Duque announced his government’s tax reform proposal aimed at fixing a budget deficit of 1.2% of GDP and making permanent a nationwide cash transfer program to the poor. However, the reform faced widespread public backlash due to the unpopularity of an increased tax burden. Duque withdrew legislation for the current version of the tax reform on April 30, vowing to propose another version, likely narrower in scope, in the coming weeks. ...

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