We cannot add taxes on Jordanians to subsidise foreigners in Jordan — King

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday stressed the importance of the governorates councils' role in development with the cooperation with the government and the parliament, a Royal Court statement said.
During a meeting with Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh and presidents and members of parliamentary blocs, His Majesty noted the need for a strategy to develop the governorates and plans to be implemented on the basis of each governorate’s unique features and available resources.
The King called on ministers to serve Jordan courageously with confidence and responsibility.
He noted that the new tax law in the making has to stiffen penalties against tax evasion.
King Abdullah said that Jordan has been "generous" with the refugees, wondering about how long the Kingdom can continue to carry the burden of hosting them.
His Majesty said that no country in the world spends the equivalent of a quarter of its budget to accommodate refugees.
“Frankly speaking, all shall bear the responsibility and there are people who benefit from the middle class’ tax exemptions, which requires improving the law so nobody would be evading taxes”, the King added.
He stressed that Jordan “cannot add taxes on Jordanians to subsidise foreigners”, adding that subsidies should only benefit Jordanians.
During the meeting, held at Al Husseiniya Palace, His Majesty said that the main purpose of the economic correction programme is to direct subsidies to the middle- and low-income segments.
King Abdullah expressed hope that the Economic Growth Plan and financial reform efforts would lead to overcoming the present economic challenges.
He underscored the need to create an environment attractive to investments and accelerate progress in development plans of all sectors, noting the importance of the e-government project, which would address administrative inefficiency and improve personnel’s performance and the quality of public services.
The King expressed appreciation for the efforts of the Parliament during the most recent extraordinary session, in which they passed significant pieces of legislation.
On the recent Irbid incident, when security officers attacked a citizen, the King reiterated that it was an isolated incident that does not represent the actual culture of security agencies.
He expressed content over the swift and transparent measures the Public Security Department took to deal with the case.
The King said that the rule of law about implementing penalties; while some people support it, he said, they withdraw such support when their relatives are involved.
As for developments in the Palestinian cause, His Majesty said that the US is committed to supporting the resumption of the peace talks during the upcoming few months.
He said that Israel is held accountable for this summer’s incident at its embassy in Amman, when a security guard shot to death a Jordanian man, and has to conduct a genuine investigation to achieve justice, in addition to the case of the killing a Jordanian judge a few years ago while he was travelling across the bridge crossing to the West Bank.
The meeting also touched on the Syrian crisis and the importance of the de-escalation zone set up in the southwest of the country, which came as a result of Jordanian efforts, in cooperation with the US and Russia.
For his part, Tarawneh stressed the importance of an effective tax law, underlining His Majesty’s directives to protect the middle- and low-income segments.
Heads and members of blocs highlighted the need to encourage the private sector to establish mega projects in the Kingdom, in addition to supporting small-and-medium sized enterprises in governorates.
Jordan Times
October 12th, 2017