Indonesian workers protest tax amnesty

Agence France-Presse . Jakarta

Thousands of workers rallied Thursday in the Indonesian capital Jakarta against a controversial government scheme to raise revenues that, critics claim, has allowed wealthy tycoons to avoid paying tax.
The tax amnesty programme began in July, offering low rates to people who came forward to declare their untaxed wealth stashed at home and overseas.
Wealthy Indonesians have long chosen to stash billions of dollars abroad, particularly in neighbouring city-state Singapore, to keep it out of reach of the taxman.
The government has thrown considerable resources behind the scheme, and hopes it will generate 165 trillion rupiah ($12.4 billion) in additional state revenue this year.
Some of Indonesia’s richest businessmen have participated in the scheme but the amnesty has angered unions and social justice groups, who claim it pardons tax cheats.
Signs waved by workers marching through Jakarta claimed the amnesty was unconstitutional, demanding it be rescinded immediately.

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