Shortly after news reports that the ministry of finance was contemplating introducing a series of financial reforms, a lawmaker has come out strongly against such measures.
Lawmaker Ahmad Al-Fadel, who heads the parliamentary committee for state priorities, said that statements attributed to sources in the ministry of finance have revealed that the ministry is thinking along the lines of introducing taxes on businesses in the country. He affirmed that he would vehemently oppose any such moves, especially given the absence of any meaningful financial reforms.
He said as chairman of the parliamentary committee on state priorities he would make sure that “the implementation of VAT and the GCC selective tax will never see the light”. He added that though he did not per se oppose such financial policies, he rejects their introduction in the country at this point in time.
He pointed out that implementation of value-added-tax (VAT) and other selective taxes required the existence of specific financial pillars, which were currently missing in Kuwait.He added that the committee which he heads had sent several letters to authorities in the financial ministry urging them to set aside any plans to introduce VAT and the GCC selective tax on tobacco, food and energy drinks, which currently, the state’s financial structure cannot accommodate.
He stressed that the government cannot tax the companies while it benefits financially from the facilities and services it renders. He reiterated “I am well aware that the country’s general reserves is bleeding, and the minister of finance during the session that discussed the financial state of the country even presented five scenarios, the best of which predicted the general reserves will be completely depleted by 2023”. Nevertheless, the lawmaker expressed his opposition to taxes and instead called for “a serious approach towards implementation of financial reforms — without wasting time entertaining the idea of taxes”.