With talks circulating around how most GCC countries are now looking to adopt the value added tax system after Saudi Arabia and the UAE have managed to do so, all eyes are now on the remaining member states including Kuwait.
For the longest time, the Middle East has been one of the top destinations for expats for the reason that their earnings are not taxed – which means an awful lot, especially for workers coming from less progressive nations such as the Philippines and in other parts of Asia and Africa.
Gov’t Eyes to Pass VAT Law by June
The government’s bid to have the value added tax (VAT) law passed and adopted by parliament will not only be the sole strategy of the government to resolve the country’s budget deficit as it also looks to push for an economic reform as recommended by both the IMF and local economic experts, as shared in a report by the Kuwait Times.
Despite challenges posed by the parliamentary, the government is looking to ‘push hard’ to pass the bill into law before June. Along with this would be an expected demand from lawmakers for clear measures that would not affect citizens, which include strict price controls so as to avoid landing in a situation where unjustified price hikes take a toll on the economic activities of the people based on what has transpired in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
At this point, the government is looking for another set of measures to address the deficit problems. This includes waiving subsidies on basic services and increasing fuel prices once more, especially since oil prices in Kuwait are the cheapest among GCC states. However, the oil price hike might realistically happen not after a year or two, as they are also looking at the possibility of increasing electricity prices as of the time being.