Three hundred MSF staff strike over NSIF tax cut in Abyei.

South Sudan nurses and midwives march in Juba to mark International Day of the Nurse, May 2012 [courtesy photo]

More than three hundred Medicine San Frontiers’ staff in Abyei went on strike on Wednesday on the national social insurance tax cut.

An antagonistic strike occurred after staff received a document from the national labor office stipulating that they are to receive their salary indicating “TAX-FREE.”

According to the demonstrators, the National Revenue Authority, NRA, has implemented the policy taxing the national Social Insurance Fund (NSIF) after the staff contract ended with the organization.

The national staff viewed the new taxation policy as a day raiding strategy.

Daniel Reec Ador, head of protestors, said staffs would not go back to work till government, MSF office and teams on strike sit and find an amicable solution to the matter.”

Ador said their strike did not abandon people; the group has assigned some health personals to carryout medication in the hospital.

“We need to be convincing on the article that says that NSIF is subject to taxation. If we are shown the article, find, we don’t have any problem. We will receive this money and go back to work, but the labor office in Abyei should come and see what we can do and go back to work. This is after the government will tell us that it will follow the case.”

The field coordinator for Medicine San Frontiers, MSF, Mr. Ken Hagiwara declined to comment on the issue, which he said in the following interview.

“I cannot make any comment. Sorry sir, very sorry. I just am working on something, and I cannot comment on this. I cannot give you something, you know, some really, like unreliable information. I mean.”

The legal consultant and commissioner for Oath, Johnny Saverio Ayiik, says 58 of South Sudan Constitution National Revenue Authority can tax the payout National Social Insurance Fund. The reason is that NSIF is only taxed during the payout.

“That amount of eight percent which is deducted from each employee is not subjected to tax at the payment of the monthly salary because it is not yet an income into your pocket. So when you get it, and it comes to your pocket, this time now becomes income. Any income you received, that income is subjected to tax, and the government authority which is concerned and custodian of the implementation of the tax act is the national revenue authority.”

Saverio urges the protestors to avoid protesting against the employer but meet the National Revenue Authority as the concerned authority.

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