The Nation Front Page Article On Taxes Misleading, Lacks Evidence

Nov 11th, 2010 | By | Category: Uncategorized

The Nation (logo)The Nation‘s glaring front page article on proposed tax changes carries a sensational headline that is not supported by any evidence in the actual article. During a time of rising cost for essentials such as sugar, claiming that new taxes will further raise prices is certain to cause alarm.

The reporter Javaid-ur-rehman’s column begins with the sensational headline, “New taxes to trigger tsunami of price hike” and the paragraphs on the front page of the newspaper repeat this claim.

The Federal Cabinet on Wednesday accorded approval to the flood tax and Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) Bill and to be presented in the current session of the National Assembly. However, many economic analysts believe that it would trigger a tsunami of price hike and inflation in the country.

But nowhere in the article do there appear statements from any economic analysts who state that the bill will cause any price increases. Actually, nothing in the article supports this idea.

The article does explain that the taxes would increase for individuals who earn over Rs.300,000 and business that earns over Rs.10 Billions each year. According to World Bank data on Pakistan from December 2009, GNI per capita (average income) in Pakistan is US$950, or Rs.81,082.5

Nowhere does the reporter explain how the tax policy will create such price increases if it only affects those who earn over three times the average income.

During a time of financial crisis especially, media should not create alarm about price hikes. Reporters should stick to the facts only and not try to influence political debates also. The article by Javaid-ur-rehman is misleading to readers because it makes a serious claim that is not supported by the evidence presented.

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  1. The Nation, under the helm of Shireen Mizari, has turned the newspaper into a jingoistic tabloid– think The New York Post in the US and The Mirror in the UK.

    It’s shame. I think The Nation was a good paper. Not anymore.

  2. A 21 gun salute to your reporting, I am in agreement with every word written above. The present sales tax regime is unfair as it has exemptions for some sectors of our economy; where as, RGST comes with a uniformed rate for all and tax exemption for none as how any taxation bill ought to be, why can’t Media tell this to the masses alongwith the harms of any indirect taxation? That is relevant and this negative outburst was well expected from Media of Pakistan. Just google ‘Tax Defaulters in Pakistani Media’ anyone, they will have it clarified.

  3. […] this is not the first time that headlines have presented asensational and misleading first impression. Perhaps this is an example of what Cyril Almeida calls, “massaging public opinion”. […]

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