Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaks to Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil during a Cabinet session at the Grand Serail, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. (The Daily Star/Ahmad Azakir)
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Ministers resolved Wednesday to discuss a contentious 2017 draft budget that could burden people with additional taxes.Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil's budget proposal calls for a series of new taxes to finance a higher salary scale for civil servants, a demand spearheaded by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and backed by teachers' unions.However, the minister denied ahead of the session that he was seeking to impose additional taxes on the middle class.Among the proposals are a 1-percentage-point increase to the value added tax from its current 10 percent rate, a 2-percentage point increase on interest rate taxes for customer bank deposits from 5 percent, a 2-percentage point increase in taxes on corporate profits from the current 15 percent, and the an additional tax imposed on real estate transactions.
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