'We need a counter tax reform': Camilo Romero

‘We need a counter tax reform’: Camilo Romero

With a proposal focused on a structural tax reform and on strengthening the employment of youth and women, the candidate for the Green Party, Camilo Romero, He hopes to reach the Presidency for the period 2022-2026. The former governor of Nariño and former congressman spoke with Portafolio about his proposals, in which he highlights his intention to promote agriculture and sectors such as cultural industries.

What would be the main economic challenge of your presidency?

certainly achieve tie the concept of economic development linked to the premise of overcoming inequality and poverty. I believe that the main economic challenge is not to speak of the benefit of a few, but of a comprehensive concept, which implies that economic growth is necessarily linked to the reduction of poverty.

What would be your roadmap to reduce poverty?

There are several points on which we have to work. A new tax reform must be considered, but having a different character in reality. We need to think about a counter tax reform, not the same one that has been tried a thousand times by governments that have a logic of favoring the favored and screwing the screwed. We need a counter tax reform that achieves something basic and elementary, and that is a progressive, fair, equitable and efficient tax reform.

If we must do something, it is to close the gaps in effective rates, that is, eliminate the tax benefits that benefit those who have the most in the country, because in the effective rate, ordinary citizens end up paying more than those who have more resources. There is a fairly large difference between wage earners and capital rentiers.

What changes would you promote?

must do a gradual dismantling of benefits without economic and social justification, it is not possible to continue maintaining tax benefits for a few, who ultimately do not meet an economic and social justification. It would also be necessary to advance in a green taxation system, something that has never been done in Colombia, this scheme would have to be designed, and that it has a need to protect the ecosystemic variety, of water, to guarantee intergenerational durability.

What would be your foci for a more productive economy?

we certainly need deal with unemployment and informality. We are one of the countries with the highest rates in Latin America, and that says a lot about those who have governed the country. The issue of employment is another need that we must promote, and the most affected are women and young people, we have a wide gender gap, and also with the ‘neither nor’, those who neither study nor work.

We need to generate employment for women and young people, we need to understand and take care of the home, and understand that women earn 19% less than men, and that among young people, the most affected are young women. This economy needs formalization, the Colombian economy is based on informality and that is why we need to promote labor formalization in the public sphere, so that contracting for the provision of services does not continue to be used as a natural rule.

What strategies do you propose to support these groups?

What to do then with women and youth: Investment, expansion of the supply of care services, a social, cultural and business policy that does not deepen gender roles. And even, there must be a co-responsibility in the flexibility of work. In terms of youth, the key is education, with zero tuition, education must be provided so that they can join productive life, with a first job policy, and access to affordable credit. This is how I could summarize the keys to boosting unemployment in these groups and also informality.

What would be the key sectors on which you would focus your economic policy?

Undoubtedly the agricultural sector, in the field we need to improve production conditions and improve quality of life. This means that there is not something very basic in these sectors, water and sanitation, connectivity, education, something urgent and necessary. We also have to get into the creative industries sector, the cultural and sports sector and education.

What is your position on oil?

It is already a global responsibility, it exceeds our discussion and it is an urgency for humanity, we must take care of ‘the common home’ and this implies a need for an energy transition that must begin immediately. There is a concern that makes it almost contradictory to generate resources versus environmental care. The only possibility is to put environmental care first and then generate a possibility of wealth that should not be on the side of extractivism.


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