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Expats may face subsidies loss in switch to allowances for Kuwaitis Cabinet said to prepare bills

 KUWAIT CITY, Feb 23: The government has been contemplating on the possibility of eliminating subsidies deemed unnecessary and a wastage of public funds. This step appears like an application of the Newton Law: “For every action there is a reaction”, in view of the pressure mounted by the Parliament to ensure passage of the proposal to increase the children and rent allowances in line with the idea presented by the Finance Committee in the last session.

According to a lawmaker who requested for anonymity, the Ministry of Finance has been carrying out comprehensive review of the best alternatives to suit recommendations from the National Assembly; especially the children and rent allowances. He hopes the government will present the alternatives to the National Assembly on March 2.

Meanwhile, a reliable source revealed the current review being carried out by the government will reveal information which will be used to question the continuity of unjustified subsidies. He said the new mechanism will not affect the low-income earners and the rightful beneficiaries of subsidies. He claimed some people, who are not entitled to the subsidies, are benefiting from them. He explained the subsidies are supposed to assist citizens; but they instead go to other segments that have become a burden to the national budget, especially the subsidies for certain services like electricity, water, fuel and basic commodities.

He affirmed the government will present clear proof to the National Assembly to support its argument that continuing the current mechanism for expenditures will lead to a budget deficit by 2017. He warned the scenario might lead to difficulties in the payment of salaries, so the country must quickly find alternatives considering the possible decline in the prices of oil soon.


By: Raed Yousef, Ayed Al-Enezi and Nasser Qadeh Al-Seyassah Staff

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