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‘200 percent hike on charges’ for expats draws criticisms
July 8, 2015, 9:17 am

MP warns govt plan threatens balance of population structure in Kuwait

A number of lawmakers criticized the government’s plan to increase the charges of the services provided to expatriates by 200 percent, reports Al-Seyassah daily. They stressed the need for the government to come up with positive and effective solutions to handle the imbalance in the population structure of Kuwait and diversify the sources of national income without showing injustice to the expatriates.

In this context, MP Hamoud Al- Hamdan affirmed that he does not support the government’s intention to increase the charges of the services provided to expatriates especially since the latter are unable to afford the cost of living in Kuwait particularly with the hike in the prices of commodities and house rents.

He urged Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Sheikh Mohammad Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to reconsider before agreeing to the study submitted for increasing the charges of the services provided to expatriates. Al-Hamdan said, “The ministry should apply strict regulations in the mechanism for granting drivers’ licenses to expatriates and establish private hospitals for expatriates in order to reduce the congestion in government hospitals”. He explained that the government is taking this move of increasing the charges as a way of pressurizing the expatriates, as it believes the latter threaten the balance of the population structure in Kuwait.

However, this will in turn negatively impact the economy of the country. Meanwhile, MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji said the Ministry of Interior has to provide justifications regarding its intention to increase the charges of the services provided to expatriates in Kuwait before taking a final decision in this regard, warning against any hikes in the charges without carrying out realistic studies.

He stressed that the charges of some services such as renewal of vehicle registration book, drivers’ license, etc can be increased, provided the inflation rate is reasonable, insisting that increasing the charges for expatriates as a way of adjusting the population structure is not logical.

Al-Turaiji added, “It is not rational to fix the mistake in the imbalance of the population structure by committing another mistake which will increase the financial burden of expatriates who are working hard to provide for their families”.

Furthermore, MP Abdulrahman Al- Jeeran said it is unacceptable or illogical for expatriates to shoulder more burdens than what they already suffer from, insisting that such a move does not suit Kuwait’s trait of humanity.

In addition, MP Abdullah Al-Mayouf affirmed that the government should not follow such twisted ways for collecting taxes, asserting that the government must conduct logical studies and researches before hiking the charges of some services provided to expatriates. He added, “These people live among us and the hike in the prices of all commodities and services affect them just like the way it affects us. Therefore, the government should work on controlling greedy traders who misuse their power over poor citizens and expatriates to collect unconstitutional taxes”.

Source: Arab Times

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