Weekly Report - 10 January 2019 (WR-19-01)

COLOMBIA: Duque gets a tax reform but not what he wanted

President Iván Duque promulgated a key tax reform on 28 December known as the ‘Ley de Financiamiento’. It was a Pyrrhic victory. Congress had insisted upon watering down the original bill before swallowing it nine days earlier, with the upshot that it will not plug a Col$14tn (US$4.37bn) budget deficit in 2019 as planned. Such was the strength of opposition to the extension of value added tax (VAT), before it was dropped from the bill, that Duque’s popularity plummeted. Even Duque supporters protested, prompting his party, the right-wing Centro Democrático (CD), to publish a statement, brimming with suppressed discontent, expressing its confidence that he would show the sagacity to change tack.

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