Thursday, August 31, 2006

A good session

Yesterday’s parliament session resulted in two significant decisions. The MP’s decided to insist on including themselves as well as the judiciary in the financial disclosure law. They also rejected imposing the sales tax on fuel, natural gas and cement.

The financial disclosure law has been a subject of debate for a long time. The senate rejected imposing the law on themselves, the house and the judiciary, citing a technicality on who should hold the records. The house now insisted on including themselves and their families, also including members of the senate and high ranking judiciary members. Hopefully, the senate will overcome it’s aversion to this law, and approve it. Of course, they risk tarnishing their reputations even further by insisting on excluding themselves.

The house also approved modifications on the sales tax, but rejecting imposition of this tax on fuel, natural gas and cement. There will be higher taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, giving smugglers more incentive to bring these illegally into the country. Also, the tax will be hiked on telecommunications services. Oh well.

It is good to see that the MP’s had the good sense to reject the tax on fuel and natural gas, which would have hurt the economy. It is disconcerting that the press ignored the issue, as did the political parties and the professional unions. Where were they?


At 7:56 AM, Blogger Habchawi said...

I am actually wondering how the senates could reject the financial disclosure law in the first place...but who knows!

I think the government needs to come up with some plan to conserve in oil since consumption and according to some sources*; even if the government unsubsidized and freed the fuel market the economy might be hurt because of the foreign currency that has to be paid to import that oil. I think raising taxes on fuel will encourage people to conserve on energy in general. However, those higher taxes need to be targeted to the right products (Essential, luxury and/or some variations of this scheme) thus targeting it to the right people to ease the effect on average people and the government needs to bear the responsibility to invest more wisely in the infrastructure and improve public transportation, renewable energy, education……………………

That’s being said, I am not sure if this will actually work and I don’t think that’s the government point of view!!!

"....... Where were they?"
Apparently they can afford it:-))))))) or they’re just busy with Lebanon now.


At 9:08 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Habchawi: I might agree with the the idea of trying to cut fuel consumption by targeting high volume users, but only if the money is specifically used to upgrade public transportation in the country. More revenues to the government will only lead to more masked unemployment and more privaliges for top officials. I am certainly against that.

I am for a more radical approach to ease the energy dilema in Jordan. Stay tuned.


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