BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces Thursday urged the government to reassess a proposed tax increase, and called for alternative ways to finance government expenditures.
“The Syndicate Division at the Lebanese Forces Party calls the government and the ministers to reconsider the suggestion of a tax increase in view of its negative implications on the economy,” a statement from the party’s syndicate body said.
Amid the current “difficult living conditions, citizens cannot stand to pay any additional taxes of any type,” the statement said, calling the government to find new resources to cover state expenses.
Taxes proposed in the 2017 draft budget by the Finance Ministry are coming under mounting criticism.
Economists, bankers and businesses are warning that these measures would burden citizens and the struggling economy.
LF called the government to “combat corruption, stop wasting public money and to collect [utility] bills from all citizens across Lebanon,” as an alternative solution to introducing new taxes.
Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil has proposed a series of taxes in his draft budget, such as increasing the value added tax from 10 to 11 percent, increasing taxes on the interest of deposits from 5 to 7 percent, increasing taxes on companies’ profits from 15 to 17 percent, placing a 15 percent tax on profits from real estate transactions and implementing a 4 percent fee on the import of kerosene.