The Budget Says it All… (1)

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Mon 28 November / Nov 2016. 01:00 AM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

Every citizen and resident of Jordan now has to save up JOD64.00 for themselves and each member of their families, collectable by the government in accordance to a bundle of difficult choices the Cabinet will ratify soon to secure JOD567 million, part of the new domestic income section under revenues listed in the 2017 budget, which was proposed for ratification by the House of Representatives Sunday.

So far, Dr Hani Mulqi’s government did not tell us why or how they intend to raise taxation, nor the means by which this ransom amount is going to be collected from citizens and residents alike, under the strains of such a difficult economic situation, years after the people had endured so much suffering that need not be worsened even more.

The primary question in this discourse, to the government, is: how will these decisions reflect on the general morale and mood of the people, given it will reflect negatively on their already difficult lives? How many will, due to these policies, will slip into poverty or at best right into the borderline under the ‘middle-income/class’ criterion by end of 2017? Has the government thoroughly reviewed it percussions of these decisions on society? And how on earth were the government’s many past failures in attaining economic growth and enhancing income levels for people left out of this equation?! This is not the first time the government resolves to the people’s pockets!

The second question goes to the citizens: do you think you can save up JOD64.00 for yourself and each one of your family, payable in sum of taxes and additional fees?

In numbers, revenue from taxation in the central government’s 2017 budget was within the 2016 range, totalling at JOD2.1 billion, where as in regards to local revenue, the 2017 budget estimate seems positively optimistic, with a cited JOD567 million increase estimated, at JOD7.34 billion domestic revenues expected in 2017, compared to JOD6.77 billion in 2016; an 8.3 per cent rise, which indicates something is going to be done in 2017!

Evidently, the government did not introduce any real, fundamental reforms in next year’s budget. Contrarily, Mulqi’s cabinet proposed their budgets for next year in the same way and method these affairs were addressed by former governments, nothing different; so, does the House of Representatives know that by ratifying the Cabinet’s budget they would have signed an open cheque for the government to reinstate typical reinterring policies?

Bottom line, the government in one regard did not keep to their word. The Cabinet did not provide a single budget bill for both the Central Government and Independent Governmental Units, as they once promised; they submitted two separate bills.

More so, the government did not abide to their promise to lower expenditure. Contrary to that, expenditure in 2017 was raised almost JOD500 million, compared to 2016. Which only means that the idea of controlling expenditure was another failure.

According to the bill, expenditure will increase by JOD327 million, or 3.2 per cent, from JOD10.4 billion in 2016, to JOD10.7 billion in 2017.

Evidently, next year is not going to be easy at all, given the figures estimated in the budget bill, and it is going to reflect negatively on society; moreover, the difficult decision that have been dispersed among sections of the budget and its figures are not product of financial and economic reformation; these increases are outcome of more reinterring policies, draining citizens even thinner.