The Kuwaiti government is allegedly discussing the possibility of cutting subsidies for citizens
Kuwait , Kuwait
05 July 2020, 12:00 AM
31 July 2020, 12:00 AM
The Kuwaiti government mulls over the possibility of cutting subsidies for citizens as part of a larger economic reform plan aimed at lessening the economic impact of COVID-19.
Barrak Ali Barrak Al Shitan, Minister of Finance proposed raising the cost of electricity, water and fuel by 25 to 30 per cent during the weekly cabinet meeting, according to some news reports.
Al Shitan also proposed a 50 per cent tax be imposed on services for citizens and a 150 per cent tax for expats. Meanwhile, corporate profits could see a value added tax (VAT) profits on select goods.
Although this is not the first time the government has proposed budget cuts, in the past, subsidies reform did not affect citizens, as it only targeted corporate and commercial businesses.
Shaikha Al Hashem, an independent Kuwaiti researcher told, “Budget rationalisation in the form of subsidy reforms is not only essential but inevitable given that both wages and subsidies make up the largest expenditures. Earlier, they were subject to the volatility of oil markets, but now with global pandemic, the government has to reorganise its priorities with respect to spending,”