KuwaitOther News

MPs blast budget, warn Prime Minister against charges

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Lawmakers yesterday blasted the government over the new budget for 2020/2021 announced on Tuesday and threatened to grill the prime minister if the government imposes any charges on citizens. MPs Abdulkarim Al-Kandari and Thamer Al-Suwait vowed that if the government introduces any measures that could create any financial burden on citizens “it would be faced immediately with grilling the prime minister.”

Finance Minister Mariam Al-Aqeel said on Tuesday that the government plans to push the national assembly to approve legislation to impose selective taxes as required by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). She also said the government will press for the approval of the public debt law to allow the government to borrow to meet rising budget deficit.

Kandari warned that any decision taken by the government leading to imposing any financial fees on citizens as a result of the legacy left by previous governments will be confronted with a grilling to the prime minister. He said that the dismal financial situation of the budget which is projecting a deficit exceeding KD 9 billion is the result of mismanagement by the previous governments, adding that the people will not bear the results of your mistakes.

Suwait said that the budget deficit exposes the government and its humble capabilities, adding that all hopes for reforms have been dashed. He insisted that this shows that the government is the root cause of all problems. MP Khaled Al-Otaibi said the budget deficit is the outcome of mismanagement, adding that citizens will not bear the result of the government’s mismanagement and failures. He warned against imposing any charges on the people.

MP Abdullah Al-Kandari warned that the “pocket of citizens” is a red line and should not be crossed, saying that the bad situation is the result of government’s mismanagement. He urged the prime minister to stop what he called “fake” spending in the government departments and also to block suspicious contracts.

Head of the assembly’s budgets committee MP Adnan Abdulsamad criticized the government for approving the budget without discussing it with the committee as it did in the previous years. He said that the committee had asked the government to include the armament budget, which has been done separately, into the state budget so as to reflect the actual public spending. Abdulsamad said that the budget announced does not reflect the actual picture of spending and that the committee will discuss this issue with the government soon.

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