|We along with many others have been urging the government to rationalize expenditures, reduce salaries and allowances of major state officials, cancel tenders that are not urgent, and close down inactive bodies such as the authority for revising laws.|
There were a number of MPs who called for increased restrictions on expatriates, obligating them to pay taxes and higher fees. In addition there were calls to reduce or cancel the subsidies offered to citizens, impose taxes on them, increase the customs fees for hundreds of imported goods, standardize the salaries of state employees, stop offering loans overseas, amend the overseas medical treatment file, rationalize the expenses of embassies and be austere in celebrations.
Unfortunately, our calls were not answered and the government insists on ignoring them. Even if it responded positively to our calls, meeting these requirements will require many years.
Therefore, we have another solution that is much easier and will be in favor of citizens and expatriates. The government will not need to rationalize expenditures.
This solution is to amend the population structure of Kuwait within ten years such that 50 percent of the population constitutes of Kuwaiti citizens and the remaining 50 percent expatriates, instead of the current ratio of 26 percent citizens and 76 percent expatriates.
However, despite the suitability of this suggestion, owners of shopping malls, real-estate owners and citizens who rent out their houses will reject this suggestion. It will also meet strong opposition from the pharmaceutical companies, car agencies, owners of electronic stores, owners of domestic labor bureaus and airways companies. These objectors are patriot citizens but they will resort to their delegate MPs to defend their interests. Eventually, the proposal will be dropped.
The problem is limited to neither the rationalization of expenditures nor the need for citizens to rationalize. In reality, citizens, whom the government has unfortunately spoiled, represent the cause of this problem. Citizens are the judge and jury at the same time. Everybody calls for mending the critical situation but nobody is ready to sacrifice any of their personal interests.
Absence of a clear government strategy for economic, political and housing aspects has added salt to the wound. The statements made by some MPs against expatriates are nothing more than nonsense aimed at gaining as many votes as possible. Those MPs will rush to call for the exclusion of expatriates who work with them from the decisions that they are calling for.
The solution has nothing to do with threats to deport expatriates. The best solution in my perspective is the gradual replacing of expatriates with national labors. This step requires change in the perception of citizens regarding many professions. It also requires increased admission rate in the universities. Graduates of preparatory and secondary schools must be encouraged to do manual labor. However, what is most important is to prevent influential visa traders from continuing human trafficking.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf