José Antonio Ocampo and Andrés Forero warmed up the conciliation of the tax reform in the House of Representatives

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The Finance Minister spoke of lowering taxes for companies in an upcoming tax reform and the representative responded that it was a contradiction

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José Antonio Ocampo and Andrés Forero heated the conciliation of the reform tax in the House of Representatives

José Antonio Ocampo and Andrés Forero argued over the word “funny”.

The Minister of Finance, José Antonio Ocampo, has a reputation for being difficult to get angry. Even in the debates for the tax reform he always seemed fresh and answered all kinds of questions clearly, except for a few moments on Thursday, November 17, at the conciliation of the economic initiative in the House of Representatives.

On this occasion, a comment from the representative to the House Andrés Forero confused the official.

Nothing more and nothing less, Forero questioned the statements that Ocampo made to various media in which he spoke of the high taxation that companies have in Colombia and that is why in an upcoming reform they would think about lowering the tax from 35%, a figure that will take effect from the first day of 2023.

For the congressman, this meant a contradiction, since in the debates of the economic initiative, in which businessmen participated, Ocampo made it clear, mainly to the president of Andi, Bruce Mac Master, that in Colombia companies paid few taxes.

According to Forero, Ocampo did so in a “jocular” tone, a word that did not sit well with the Finance Minister, who rejected that they have branded him that way and he assured that it was an insult.

“I have not been humorous at any time. I consider what you are saying an insult that I do not accept,” the minister asserted, upset, explaining that he mentioned said taxation when referring to the 35% tax, which is in that proportion, due to a reform approved by the Democratic Center.

According to him, what he said is that hopefully this rate of companies can be reduced, if this reform (the Petro) provides sufficient resources.

The reform has been approved

The truth is that with 122 votes in favor and 27 votes against, the The House of Representatives approved this Thursday the conciliation of the tax reform bill of the Government of Gustavo Petro. Now, the initiative goes to presidential sanction, since this Wednesday, November 16, 2022, the Senate had given the go-ahead to said final text.

Minister Ocampo did not hide his satisfaction and stated that the vote reflects the broad support of the government coalition, which also has behind it a wide process of conciliation, discussion and debate with the representatives and senators.

He also said that the project represents a significant contribution to the programs benefits that will be financed with these resources and also contains a number of positive measures such as the more redistributed effect in income tax on individuals.

In the conciliation, Forero denounced that the processing of this bill had flaws because proposals could not be presented.

“This is a reform on the eve of a recession in the country, which discourages investment , which slows down the generation of employment and adds gasoline to the inflationary figure that Colombians consume,” warned the congressman.

Petro spoke

The President of the Republic, Gustavo Petro, ruled on the final approval of the tax reform project. He specified that for the first time the richest layers of the population will pay taxes to finance social spending and recognized the general interest of the Legislature in the discussion.

“Today the tax reform is approved. For the first time in many decades, we are talking about taxing the richest layers of the population to finance spending and investment in the country's poorest population,” he said.