Published: 2017-11-07 18:52
Last Updated: 2017-11-07 21:58
Jordanians are still uncertain whether the government will increase the price of bread or keep it as it is.
The government has recently hinted that it might be removing bread subsidies, which will automatically increase the price of bread per kilo from 16 piastres to 35 piastres.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Hani Al Mulki said that the cost of one kilo of bread equals the price of “two cigarettes,” which indicates that he could be hinting that bread is more affordable than some people think.
He went on to defend the government’s potential cuts by pointing out that no other country in the world pays bread subsidies.
“Aren’t the poor more in need of the money that goes towards bread subsidies?,” Mulki said.
The premier further denied that the previous governments ever stopped financially supporting Jordanian citizens without a legitimate reason behind it.
Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on the Jordanian government not to increase tax on basic commodities, especially bread.
IMF Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department, Jihad Azour, told Roya that it is necessary to have economic reforms which follow the progressive tax system, in which the tax rate increases as the taxable amount increases.
Azour added that the participation should be in accordance with the citizens’ purchasing power, and that the poor should be protected.
“The procedures should not increase the tax burden on the poor, especially with regard to charges on essential commodities”, he said.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition