Bahrain Govít Plans on Collecting 1 Billion and 100 Million in Taxes and Duties

2019-03-22 - 12:50 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): "Once you pop, you can't stop": This Pringles advertised slogan applies to what the Bahraini government is doing to its citizens. The pockets of Bahrainis have been popped and devoured in the name of taxes and duties and the authorities don't seem willing to stop anytime soon, as the government plans on collecting one billion and 100 million in two years.

For further clarification, Finance Minister Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa recently unveiled a new figure added to the numbers that the government is shifting towards more taxes and duties: 70% of non-oil revenue comes from government duties imposed on services.

According to the Minister, the government received 362 million dinars in 2017 from fees, service products and goods. The Minister notes that the fees increased by 13% compared to 2016.

The general budget figures, approved by the government for the years 2019-2020, estimated non-oil revenues at BD 498 million and BD 507 million, respectively. Considering that 70% of this revenue will come from fees, the government will earn over 700 million dinars within two years.

The government increases the amount of fees imposed on citizens on an annual basis in order to face its financial crisis, without taking into consideration that the citizen lives in financial crises that are not just related to low wages in both the private and public sectors and the continued inflation of prices.

This is regarding fees and duties. As for taxes, the government has not only imposed administrative taxes on citizens and merchants, small and large scale, but has also imposed a 5% value added tax (VAT) which was put into effect earlier this year.

According to government figures, the National Revenue Authority will earn 213 million dinars and 269 million in the years 2019-2020.

Government revenues from duties and taxes are expected to reach more than one billion and 100 million dinars. This figure is equivalent to more than one-third of the state's public revenues, which means that the government is expanding its dependence on taxes and duties to achieve fiscal balance.

Corruption, theft and wastage of public funds have led to the accumulation of the public debt, and the collapse of oil prices has multiplied it. The corrupt are not held accountable and what was stolen is not returned from the accounts of the senior members of the ruling family, but rather from the pockets of the poor.

When the oil prices went up in 2007 and 2008, Bahrainis did not gain anything from that, and when the prices dropped, they were forced to pay from their pockets to compensate for the difference. Yes it was by force, not by law, even if the authorities claim that the laws were passed through Parliament.

There is no Parliament in Bahrain that defends the interests of the people. What exists is a council of yesmen selected by the government to pass the laws it desires. The Bahraini citizen is forced today to open his pocket for duties and taxes, even though he had no part whatsoever in the formation of new financial visions.

The real public opinion about the policy of taxes and duties is expressed daily via social media and in family gatherings, since Bahraini authorities have banned all forms of protest and expression of opinion, and put its opponents behind bars.


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