7 Jul 2003

Illegal head tax in PNG may be legitimised

4:02 pm on 7 July 2003

The Papua New Guinea government is planning to introduce laws to legitimise the collection of head taxes.

PNG media reports say the government push comes after several provincial and local level governments admitted to illegally collecting head taxes to top up their coffers.

The Inter Government Affairs Minister, Sir Peter Barter, says the government will not prosecute provinces which collect the head taxes and that laws will be put in place to legitimise the practice.

The MP for North Waghi, Michael Kas, opposes the idea, saying that rural people are already hard hit by PNG's tough economic climate, and cannot afford additional tax burdens.