The Government must stop utilising money taken from the people to maintain one family, a huge Cabinet and political friends, former UNP Member of Parliament for Gampaha, Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday.
Referring to the Government’s latest decision to increase fees for the registration of marriages from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 5,000 if it was performed outside the office of a registrar of marriages, in a hotel or reception hall, Jayasuriya said that the increase was a major blow for low and middle income groups. “The Government is well aware that this increase is not felt by the friends of the higher ups of the Government or by those who belong to the elite class, who import Lamborghini racing cars worth millions of rupees,” he said.
In a media release issued yesterday, the UNP MP charged that the move was aimed at increasing Government revenue which was no longer sufficient to meet the expenditure of “a huge Cabinet, political appointees including presidential advisors and the expenses of a wasteful Government.
According to Jayasuriya, people sell their property and pawn their jewellery and become indebted in order to have marriage ceremonies.
“The fee paid to the Registrar of Marriages at present is not sufficient. The Government should have provided some concession to the registrar by increasing reasonably the registration fee for registration of marriages. Instead, the Government has increased the fee by Rs. 4,000; the fee charged to register a marriage outside the registrar’s office, to collect money for the Government’s account,” he said in a statement.
Jayasuriya urged the Government to cease taxing the people this way and charged that the belt-tightening and economic burdens placed on the people by the ruling administration had not stopped even after the war ended.
“We urge in all good faith that the Government should stop taxing people in this manner. Also, must discontinue the habit of utilising the money taken from the people to maintain one family, a huge cabinet and political friends.” (DB)