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Sunday , December 8 2019

No ‘firm decision’ reached on taxation, increase in fees

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 9: “No increase in fees and financial costs for the use of public utilities and public services …” This is what officials from the Finance Ministry affirmed to MP Ahmad Al-Fadhli, negating what was published two days ago by some media outlets.

MP Al-Fadhli conveyed the message to the “Finance” officials, saying “the issue of imposing taxes and increasing fees and financial costs for the use of public utilities and public services has yet to be subjected to proper review study, let alone being pitched recently.”

“Several MPs and I totally oppose tax review without having economic reforms in place to curb squandering of public funds and subsidies scattered to undeserving people, and we consider it irrational,” Al-Fadhli affirmed in his press statement yesterday.

“The Gulf Cooperation Council’s agreement on the selective tax and value added tax (VAT) will not go through except by voting in the Parliament, and I promise, as long as I am the head of the priorities parliamentary committee, I will vote against it due to my conviction on its unsuitability at the current period of time. We are not against the philosophy behind taxation as an economic principle but its elements are not in place so far, and we’ll not accept its endorsement until the necessary elements are in place,” noted Al-Fadhli.

He explained that the priorities parliamentary committee had addressed the financial parliamentary committee on several occasions, urging them not to deliberate on the VAT and selected taxes for tobacco, food and energy drinks because they’re unsuitable in this period and such levies need an open economy wherein private sector plays a dominate role on the economic scene.

Regarding what was published in one of the local newspapers, Al-Fadhli said: “Despite the arguments mentioned about the depletion of the country’s financial reserve by 2023 and the scenarios mentioned in this regard and how to avoid economic crisis in the country, the Ministry of Finance denied the report on increasing fees and financial costs for the use of public utilities and public services.”

Also intending to vote against the bill on increasing the fees and financial costs for the use of public utilities and public services are MP Saleh Ashour and MP Abdul-Kareem Al-Kandari. In his recent Tweet, MP Ashour affirmed they will not accept the taxation of citizens before the tax is implemented on companies, which enjoy tenders worth millions, and on banks and companies listed in Kuwait’s stock market that enjoy the government’s priority, and also to stop government’s squandering and foreign grants. MP Abdul-Kareem Al-Kandari maintained that the national balance is bad due to the deficit, which citizens cannot bear, and the people of Kuwait will not pay taxes imposed as a result of the mismanagement.

By Raed Yousef and Abdul- Rahman Al-Shemmari

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