Jumblatt criticizes Cabinet over tax proposals

Jumblatt and Fayyad speak at the general assembly.

BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt Monday slammed the Cabinet over tax proposals to fund the new wage scale still to be referred to Parliament.

“Why is the Cabinet shying away from assuming responsibilities in the wage scale issue… Wouldn’t it be better if Cabinet makes radical decisions regarding the coastal property [taxes]?” said Jumblatt in his weekly column on the PSP’s Al-Anbaa website.

Jumblatt was referring to the issue of the salary increases, for which the Cabinet is trying to find resources before referring to Parliament.

During the Cabinet session Monday aimed at discussing means to secure funds for the salary scale, Prime Minister Najib Mikati suggested imposing a 10 percent tax to allow additional floors to be built on buildings under construction.

Jumblatt said that such a suggestion, if adopted, would have disastrous effects on heritage buildings and worsen the crisis in the real estate market.

“Instead of taking decisive and bold decisions, the Cabinet is considering an arbitrary decision which will, if approved, have disastrous results on the environment,” said Jumbaltt.

The PSP leader added that skyscrapers and commercial buildings contributed to the crisis of the real estate market, suffering from uncontrolled prices.

“The adoption of the proposal that would allow building new top floors will lead to chaos,” Jumblatt said.





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