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MP warns government on subsidies, fees – Taxes floated

MP Riyadh Al-Adsani

KUWAIT CITY, April 8: MP Riyadh Al-Adsani has urged the government to refrain from stopping subsidies on goods and services or increasing fees for services offered to citizens without consulting the National Assembly. He voiced opposition to this governmental directive, warning that an interpellation motion will be underway if such a decision is taken.

He pointed out that the government often hints on increasing fees, decreasing subsidies or imposing taxes. He then asked the government to clarify its recent statements on such moves, especially the announcement made by the secretary general of High Council for State Planning regarding the supposed plan to replace subsidies with social security system.

He described the statement as irresponsible; considering the secretary general is in charge of coordination and follow-up, not State policies. He said the secretary general previously affirmed the need to implement taxes and recently brought up the idea of implementing a social security system, which makes one wonder if such a statement is prompted by the government or not. He intends to continue following up the issue and to demand for clarifications on the government’s policy by submitting a written request for the Assembly to table the issue for discussion or by forwarding queries to the government. He is hoping these initiatives will prevent unilateral decisions.

Article 20 of the Constitution stipulates: “The national economy is based upon social justice; its mainstay is a balanced cooperation between public and private enterprise; its aims are the realization of economic development, the increase of production, the raising of the standard of living, and the substantiation of the citizens’ prosperity, all within the limits of the Law.”

Based on this article, the MP is keen on closely following up the issue; arguing that the implementation of taxes or increasing fees for services does not guarantee prosperity for citizens as such moves will only increase their financial burdens, especially the middle class citizens who depend on their monthly income.

On the other hand, MP Abdulwahaab Al-Babtain submitted queries on fees for governmental services to all ministers; except the ministers of Education, Social Affairs, Labor, Finance and Public Works. He requested for a detailed explanation of all fees for governmental services, how these fees are determined and reasons for increasing fees.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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