Published: 2018-01-16 13:53
Last Updated: 2018-01-16 15:04
Editor: Khawla Alhamouri
It is not uncommon for Jordanians to wake up to news relating to price fluctuations and tax impositions.
But what did Jordanians wake up to today?
The Cabinet announced on Monday the main features of the economic measures for the year 2018, under what it called “structural reforms of the tax system’, which aims at achieving stability for economic growth.
The resolutions included imposing higher taxes on cars, fizzy drinks, cigarettes and different types of fuel, as well as reducing vehicle-ownership transfer fees.
A government source has said that the changes in prices will come into effect on Wednesday morning.
The resolutions were as follows:
1- Levying JOD 500-1500 on each imported car, depending on its weight.
2- Vehicle-ownership transfer fees will be reduced to range from JOD 30-200.
3- Raising tax on fizzy drinks from 10-20%.
4- Adding JOD 0.20 to the price of each pack of cigarettes.
5- Raising tax on gasoline with an octane rating at 95 and 98 to 30%.
6- Sales tax exemptions modified at a unified rate of 10%.
In other related financial news, after the government lifted bread subsidies in November, the difference of bread consumption was estimated at JOD 2.2 per capita.
Therefore, the government decided that a total of JOD 26.4 per individual per year will be paid in cash to the Jordanian deserving segments, while a total of JOD 33 will be paid per individual per year for the beneficiaries of the National Aid Fund, and a total of JOD 27 will go to residents from the Gaza Strip.
1- Jordanian families whose monthly income does not exceed JOD 1,200.
2- Jordanian individuals whose annual income does exceed JOD 6,000
3- Children of Jordanian mothers married to non Jordanians.
4- Residents from the Gaza Strip.
5- Beneficiaries of the National Aid Fund.
What Jordanians don’t know, but should know
The Prime Ministry published different infographics to demonstrate the 2018 resolutions of the economic reforms program under the slogan “It’s Your Right to Know.”
However, Jordanians still “don’t know,” and are still waiting for answers to many questions related to different economic issues in the Kingdom. The phosphate case is a strong example to support this argument.
According to the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company, phosphate was first discovered in Jordan in 1908, and Jordan Phosphate Mines Co. is ranked as the second largest exporter and sixth largest producer of phosphate in the world, with a capacity exceeding 7 million tons of phosphate annually.
But the future of the phosphate industry in Jordan has shifted, and no bright side seems to exist, since financial, technical and administrative disruptions took over four years ago.
Nevertheless, the most important components of the company, the production and mining parts, were given to contractors along with the equipment, which left the contractors with all the profits and the Jordan Phosphate Mines Co. with no money, according to Al Rai local newspaper.
Jordanians have not been told why their economy did not benefit from this natural gold mine, and why all the profits went to the contractors instead.
Other issues that Jordanians have always demanded answers for are water and energy related, in addition to more questions about education, investment, indebtedness and the general administration of Jordan, especially seeing as unemployment rates have rocketed over the past few years, and are still on the rise, and that the deficit of the general budget never seems to come to an end.