KUWAIT CITY, Aug 19: As the new electricity tariff comes into effect on Tuesday, many citizens and expatriates have registered resentment on the implementation of the decision, especially as it coincides with the new fees for health services provided to expatriates by the State.
They lamented the tariffs might not add much to the State coffers but surely pose a huge burden in light of low salaries received by expatriates in both public and private sectors.
In a survey by Al-Seyassah daily, respondents said the majority of expatriate families are preparing to leave Kuwait for good, especially families with limited incomes.
A citizen real estate owner, Bu Hussein, said the new electricity tariffs for expatriates will negatively affect citizens. He noted the endless pressure on expatriate families will inevitably bring about huge losses to the owners of commercial buildings where expatriates are residing.
He added the increase is exaggerated, and wondered about the logic behind an expatriate family paying more than KD 50 monthly for electricity, which is almost KD 600 per annum.
He asked if they really want expatriates to live without air-conditioning and refrigerators. His compatriot, Ahmad Alamir also said the increase in electricity tariffs will automatically lead to an increase in the prices of foodstuffs, because any trader would want to get a satisfactory gain.
He pointed out that foodstuff market in Kuwait is already suffering from recession due to the expansion of shopping malls. He added an increase in tariffs will result in the departure of expatriate families whom the shopping malls depend on. He stressed that private school owners will feel the damage of the decision when most expatriate families leave as a result of the irrational decision. He insisted the decision-makers did not conduct relevant study on all aspects of the decision to increase electricity tariffs.
For his part, Zaki Abdou — as a breadwinner, is seriously mulling on living alone without his family since Kuwait is trying all means possible to fix its lopsided population at the expense of the productive and producing expatriates.
He explained the increase will miserably increase burdens on expatriates, adding he earns KD 550 a month and KD 300 of his salary goes into rent. He said his salary with no doubt will not match all the expected increases — health service fees and water and electricity tariffs.
Jamal Subhi also said the increase in tariffs is no surprise to him, as parliamentary candidates targeted expatriates in their campaign speeches before reaching the Parliament. He lamented the government passed the decision already adopted by the MPs who enact laws to choke and increase the suffering of expatriate workers.
He said electricity tariffs are already high, as every apartment pays more than KD 7 monthly for electricity and municipal services. He reiterated, “Only bachelors will remain here if this is the way the decision-makers wants it to be.”
By Najeh Bilal Al Seyassah Staff