Presidential candidates Guillermo Lasso and Cynthia Viteri say they will abolish President Rafael Correa’s proposed real estate capital gains tax on “estraordinary” profits if they are elected. The proposal is currently being debated in the National Assembly. Both Lasso and Viteri attacked the tax as “socialist” and said that it is unfair to Ecuadorian investors and families.
Lasso went even further, and listed 12 taxes he says he will eliminate if he’s elected.
Meanwhile, leading presidential contender Lenin Moreno told crowds in Imbabura Province that he will promote programs that encourage “equitable development that will benefit all Ecuadorians.” He also urged all presidential candidates to engage in “a dignified and civil debate to allow voters to understand campaign issues and make an informed decision on election day.”
In addition to reversing Correa’s new capital gain tax, Lasso, the center-right candidate of the CREO party, pledged to end all taxes and restrictions on sending money out of the country and eliminate inheritance tax, and luxury taxes on imported goods, including motor vehicles. He also said he would make Ecuador an active player in international free trade agreements and join Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico in pushing a Pacific Alliance trade agreement.
Lasso said that creating jobs and putting money back into the “hands of the people” is a formula for growth and prosperity for Ecuador.
Besides eliminating Correa’s capital gains tax, Viteri said she will enact measures to encourage job growth in the construction sector of Ecuador’s economy. She said that unemployment and under- employment are the main obstacles to building a stronger economy.
“If the capital gains legislation passes and I am elected president, I will return any money taken from the citizens of Ecuador who are affected by it,” Viteri, the center-right Christian Democrat candidate said. “This is the money we need to increase job growth and development in Ecuador.
Although Moreno, candidate of the Correa’s Alianza País, supports the capital gains tax, he did not mention it in his speeches on Wednesday and Thursday. “One of my priorities will be to increase the productive activity in the countryside,” Moreno said. “Those who work the land are too often overlooked in the economic policy of the country. When I’m elected, this will not be the case.”
Moreno leads Viteri and Lasso as well as center leftist Paco Moncayo in all polls although his lead has dropped in recent weeks.