Juan de Zubiria, the Libertarian candidate for president in Colombia’s 2018 presidential election, told El Espectador in an interview today that eliminating the country’s IVA (value added tax) would create between 500,000 and 1 million new jobs in the country.
The IVA, otherwise known as the value added tax, is a 19% tax added to all goods and services in the country. The Colombian congress increased the tax from 16% to 19% in early 2017 as part of a program combat the country’s budget deficit. However critics have argued that the IVA disproportionately affects the poor and discourages domestic spending.
Zubiria is running a campaign based upon smaller government and more regional autonomy for Colombia’s provinces, a position that contrasts strongly with his opponents. The Libertarian party is a new concept in Latin America, and Zubiria is expected to face an uphill battle as he tries to educate the public about his party’s positions and proposals.
In the interview. Zubiria also outlined many of his other positions, which include school vouchers that would afford Colombian citizens more choices to educate their children and the complete legalization of drugs in the country, allowing each state to create their own laws to govern the legality.
In several tweets this week, the candidate indicated that he is skeptical that more government oversite is the solution to the country’s notoriously corrupt political system. He indicated that the best way to eliminate corruption is to downsize the national government and return power to the voters.