Taxes, Education, and Solution of Poverty

Taxes, Education, and Solution of Poverty

By Andi Zulfikar, Employee of the Directorate General of Taxes

One time, a motivator told me a true story of poor people and rich people in one kingdom. In that kingdom, there were so many poor people. The problem was the rich people didn’t really care about the poor people. They thought that it was not their obligation to help poor people. The king didn’t really care about that situation. He thought that it was a simple problem.

Situation became worst. The suffering of poor people were increased, on the other hand, the rich people became richer. The rich people didn’t know that the poor people became anger because nobody cared about their situation. The king was not respected any more. Their anger exploded.

The poor people demonstrated. They wanted a justice for them. A riot happened. The government couldn’t handle that situation. The rich people became the target of the rebel of poor people. The rich people wanted to change the situation. When the angry people came, they want to give their money to them. But, the answer of the angry people was so horrified. They said, “We don’t want your money anymore. We want your blood.”

Paying Tax for a better Education

One of the goals of taxes is to combat the poverty. Paying tax is one of the best ways to share wealth from the rich people to the poor people. The poor people, sometimes, cannot reach the opportunities such as the rich people can reach. For example, one of the opportunities that I mean is education. To change their life, the poor people need more opportunity. Government must take a role and make rules that can support them.

Of course, it’s very difficult to the government to combat the poverty without people’s support. Our nature resources, until now, cannot change the government’s income from tax. As a result, tax becomes a must for our government. Because the base of taxation’s payment is self assessment, so the participation of the taxpayers is a must too.

The duty of the Directorate General of Taxes (DGT) is a duty to build a better country. A better country is not only a dream of DGT but also the whole country. So, the duty of DGT is not only on the DGT’s hand but also in the hand of all the people in this country. All the people who love Indonesia must take care of the collection of tax. Why? It is because the result of this duty will influence all of our life too.

To give the poor people a way to change their life, our government concern in the education aspect. The government allocates at least 20 per cent of the state budget for education. Education as one of solution to improve quality of life of the poor people needs more real action to give the poor the more chance, for example from scholarship. One of the examples of that scholarship is Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP). The LPDP is an Agency for General Services under the Finance Ministry.

According of the data from Antaranews.com, currently, the LPDP has managed Rp22.5 trillion worth of funds and has granted scholarships to 16,293 students to study both in Indonesia and overseas. Of course, not all of them are poor people, but I want to underline that the change of the poor people to have a better education becomes bigger.

Sri Mulyani as a Minister of Finance told the scholarship recipient that the scholarship fund came from the taxes collection. It means that the paying of taxes is used in the right way. Tax gives the people more chance, not only for the rich people but also for the people.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, said, “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.” With tax, we will build a better nation for all of us. The question is, are we ready to support that dream?

*) The information and views set out in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the institution in which the author works.