Colombian president appoints new finance minister

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Colombian President Ivan Duque appointed on Monday, May 3, a new minister of finance and public loans. It was Jose Manuel Restrepo.

“I have appointed Jose Manuel Restrepo, who now holds the post of Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, as the new Minister of Finance and Public Credit,” the head of state wrote in his Twitter-account, he also thanked the former head of department Alberto Carrasquilla for the work.

Earlier in the day, Carrasquilla and his deputy, Juan Alberto Londoño, decided to step down due to the consequences of the tax reform.

Both statesmen were the authors of controversial tax reform, which has drawn strong criticism in the political, economic and social spheres. As a result, both Alberto Carrasquilla and Juan Alberto Londoño were left without government support.

The intent for the reform was to raise taxes on individuals and introduce a tax of up to 19% on propane and butane for domestic use at a rate based on a sliding income scale. The Colombian government also sought to increase the gasoline tax from 5% to 19% at the same rate for the upper middle class areas, but in that case, the bill would tax people with an income of more than $ 656 per month, while unions criticized this measure, which is unacceptable in a country with a minimum wage of $ 248.

The planned tax reform triggered a wave of national strikes that have been going on since April 28 this year. In recent days, at least 16 people have been killed during the protests, and hundreds more have been injured.