Report: No One Wants to Be Liable for Wage Scale Suspension
Lebanon's newly approved wage scale and the tax hikes law still grasps the focus of political attention as the parliament gears for a Monday meeting dedicated to take the final course with regard to the tax provisions aimed at funding the scale.
Sources close to Speaker Nabih Berri assured to al-Akhbar daily that on Saturday that “things will go well,” saying it was unlikely for the law to be appealed a second time.
They said shall the tax law be appealed, it would mean the suspension of next months salaries of public sector employees as per the new wage scale “who has the courage to do such a thing let him try,” remarked the sources on condition of anonymity.
In September the Constitutional Council unanimously annulled the tax hike law aimed at funding the wage scale for civil servants and the armed forces after an August appeal submitted by ten lawmakers.
The appeal was submitted based on arguments that the approved “taxes will lower the purchasing power of citizens, push more than 100,000 citizens Lebanese below the poverty line, and initiate an increase in school tuition fees.”
The new taxes involve hiking the VAT tax from 10% to 11%, fines on seaside violations, and taxes on cement, administrative transactions, sea imports, lottery prizes, tobacco, alcohol, travel tickets, financial firms and banks.
Authorities have argued that the new taxes are necessary to fund the new wage scale but opponents of such a move have called for finding new revenues through putting an end to corruption and the waste of public money.