YANGON, Myanmar – The Yangon University Student Union has begun a boycott of military-owned products in response to the military’s violent crackdown, which has over the past two months of clashes led to a death toll of 86.
The University Student Union has urged people not to buy or sell brands of beer and cigarettes manufactured by military-owned companies. The student union alleges that revenue from those products has contributed to human rights violation throughout the country, especially in ethnic areas.
The Yangon University Student Union has a reputation for taking an active part in political activities throughout the ages. In British colonial days, student union led the movement to liberate Myanmar from British rule.
Armed with World Bank data that says China has contributed to more than 70% of global poverty reduction since the late 70’s, President Xi Jinping declared a complete victory against poverty and called it a miracle that will go down in history.
“Shaking off poverty is not the finish line, but the starting point of a new life and new endeavor,” Xi noted on his Feb. 25 address that his country’s $246b investment into poverty alleviation over the past eight years has helped impoverished rural residents who lived below the current poverty line in 128,000 villages.
Complete eradication of poverty in China was one of Xi’s main goals when he came to power in 2012, a time when 100m people lived in extreme poverty in remote rural areas. China has a population of around 1.4 billion.
Similar to the recent NCP campaign in Alberta that rose the minimum wage to $15, Nova Scotia NDP leader Gary Burrill has launched a “Fight for 15” campaign, but, critics have pointed out, while the bigger number has proved popular with minimum wage workers, it would mean important tax increases for those same workers while making it more difficult for small businesses and students.
Jordi Morgan, vice-president for Atlantic Canada at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), has pointed out that the increase from Nova Scotia’s $10.70 minimum wage to $15.00 would be enough to push many part-time workers, who are below the province’s basic personal exemption level (BPE), to a level where they would be taxed on income. A $15 minimum wage would also push all full time workers out of the lowest tax bracket.
At $8,481, Nova Scotia’s BPE is the second-lowest in Canada. The alternative to a wage increase, according to Morgan, is raising the BPE.
“Our premise to this point is an increase to the BPE is a better policy lever because it would have a desirable impact by reducing the tax burden for all citizens, not create downward pressure on employment for youth, and it would not have a negative impact on the growth of small- and medium-sized business,” Morgan told The Speaker.
Morgan also noted that a wage increase to $15 in Nova Scotia would not be the same as the one that happened in Alberta. “[I]t would stand to reason that the tax payable would be much higher here than Alberta because our BPE is nearly $10,000 lower and at 15.00/hr, it would push the provincial personal marginal tax rate from just under 8.79% to almost 14.95%. Alberta has a 10% tax rate up to $125,000.”
Currently, the just over $22,000 earned by minimum wage workers in Nova Scotia puts them in the lowest tax bracket, which means they are taxed under 9% provincially, and are taxed 11.43% total. Even if these workers get a raise, there is still room to remain in this low tax bracket.
The limit of this tax bracket is $29,590, so even at $14.00 workers still pay the lowest amount of taxes, grossing $29,120.
At $15.00, workers earn $31,200. They are in the next tax bracket, and are taxed just under 15% provincially, and are taxed 18.84% total.