Economic challenges and double standards

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WHEN citizens call for loan waiver, the voices of some begin to rise to say such a step “will lead to social injustice” even though it is these same voices that cling to the policy of subsidizing goods and services.

In their defense, they argue that “this is part of the social justice that the state is supposed to achieve for its citizens”.

This double standard is the chronic challenge that Kuwaitis face, especially as the subsidy and expansion of random employment have started to cause a large financial deficit. This necessitates everyone to have a sense of national responsibility in approaching these challenges away from electoral gain and financial benefits.

We should look at the future of Kuwait from the standpoint of continuing to maintain a minimum level of financial sufficiency for citizens. Therefore, it is arbitrary to generalize subsidies to everyone.

It is unfair to equate the rich with those with limited income in the distribution of housing plots, and their access to land and a loan, while the former usurp the rights of others.

There is no doubt that everyone has realized the risks of the food security crisis in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in Kuwait.

The extent of the country’s deficit in this field became apparent, and this cost the state a lot of money.

This is due to the fact that the citizens did not learn rationalization due to their reliance on the subsidy for food items, goods and services. The successive governments and parliaments did not take this crucial issue into account, or strive for self-sufficiency and reduce the huge consumer bill that the state incurs annually.

On the other hand, the problem of wasting electricity and water in investment buildings that real estate owners benefit from remains one of the most complex challenges.

They profit from the almost-free services as they do not pay any costs, and they receive 10 or 15 percent of the rental value annually, meaning that more than 90 percent of the wastage of water and electricity happens in those buildings, palaces, and luxury housing, while the state does not benefit from it.

Today, there is a global energy crisis due to the developments in the Russian-Ukrainian war. The European countries have taken several harsh measures to preserve energy resources.

In France, the rationalization of electricity has begun. In Britain, the Prime Minister has ordered that the energy consumption bill should not exceed 2,500 pounds. Germany has called on German citizens and residents not to shower daily, or it would impose fines on those who violate it.

Here, it must be emphasized that those who think this crisis will not have a negative effect on the rest of the world are mistaken because the setbacks will not stop with European countries.

That is why countries are preparing for the future through plans that reduce costs on public money. There are many of them today that operate on the rule established by Brazilian President Lula de Silva, which is to take from the rich in the form of taxes and give to the poor, while providing many facilities to businessmen and industrialists so that they do not feel the brunt of the state. With that policy, he turned Brazil from a debtor to a creditor.

Today, Kuwait is facing a great challenge, which is to stop the high rate of deficit, address financial and commodity waste through the so-called subsidy, and improve the incomes of low-income earners.

In this regard, we hope the new leadership and His Highness the Crown Prince will follow up and understand the country’s diseases and ailments, and become familiar with and verify everything published in the media.

There is no doubt that the leadership would do justice to the citizens by reconsidering the subsidy policy and salaries.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

This news has been read 26156 times!

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