Don’t Exacerbate Poverty in the Dominican Republic with Unfair Fiscal Reform

Protests in the Dominican Republic

Target: President Danilo Medina

Goal: Repeal the new fiscal reform that would fund corruption and increase poverty and hunger in the country.

The Congress in the Dominican Republic recently passed a new fiscal reform despite protests that the reform would make citizens pay for the government’s corruption. Recently elected President Danilo Medina introduced the reform which would raise the country’s GDP by two percent. However, the reform would hurt low-income families who are already living in poverty.

President Medina told the public that the reform was the necessary action to take for the country which is experiencing the worst financial crisis in its history. The government is hoping to collect over one billion dollars from the reform. The reform would raise sales tax from 16 to 18 percent and increase taxes on fuel, which is already extremely high in the island nation. It would also increase taxes on food staples that Dominican families buy regularly.

A social movement against the reform started almost as soon as the fiscal reform was proposed. Dominican citizens are angry because they feel they are being forced to pay for the government’s excessive spending. The government in the Dominican Republic is blatantly corrupt. The Vice President has been accused of using government money to pay for her designer wardrobe. Most think that the national deficit has been caused by government officials’ extravagant lifestyles and corruption. Instead of government officials taking responsibility and cutting down excessive government expenditures, they are looking to the public to fund their corruption. In the Dominican Republic 40 percent of families live below the poverty line and struggle to buy necessities like food. This fiscal reform would hurt low-income families by making it harder for them to buy food and other materials, increasing hunger and poverty in the country.

For the last couple of weeks Dominicans have joined together to voice their concern over the reform. Activists recently had what they called ‘Black Tuesday’ where they showed their opposition for the reform by withdrawing from the market for a day. They called on citizens not to make any purchases for a day to show the government that they do not want the fiscal reform. On the day the House of Representatives voted on the reform, dozens of citizens across the country hit the streets in protest. In the capital, they marched to the National Congress and delivered a letter stating their opposition. They said that the marches were to prove that the public is awake. Despite these efforts, the Dominican Congress approved the fiscal reform.

Stand with the citizens of the Dominican Republic and tell President Danilo Medina to stop the fiscal reform.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Medina,

I am writing to ask you to repeal the fiscal reform. The reform would economically cripple the people of the Dominican Republic who are already struggling to buy food and other necessities.

You have stated that the fiscal reform is the only way to get the country out of deficit but that is incorrect. In your Inauguration Speech you promised to crack down on corruption. The reason there is a deficit is due to the corruption and excessive spending in the government. Fulfill your promise and focus on ending corruption in the government and limit government officials’ salaries. Another solution is to tax the income of the rich in order to raise government revenue without hurting low-income families.

The Dominican citizens have been vocal in their opposition to the fiscal reform. I am urging you to listen to their concerns and repeal the fiscal reform in favor of a better alternative.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: random_mind via Instagram

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