Taxed for barely affording a living? a.k.a ضريبة الغلاء المعيشي

Taxed for barely affording a living? a.k.a ضريبة الغلاء المعيشي
by
Funny, last night one of my friends and I were discussing if the Jordanian Government where to issue a new tax, called “Dareebet il 3’ala2 al ma3eeshi” (Translation: A tax introduced for the high costs of living) and I thought it would be outrageous!
Outrageous is an understatement; as I opened up my laptop after Iftar today to check my email I was surprised to learn that such a tax has been issued to be imposed very soon in Jordan. In a protest in Jordan many political parties and trade unions have issued a statement last night for forming “a government of national unity capable of facing challenges, involving all stakeholders in the society and be open to all institutions of civil society and interact with and respond to the claim.” And I can’t stop wondering, is it do-able?
I remember reading somewhere the households with income of 1,000 Jordanian Dinars or less do not get taxed, but I thought it was ridiculous judging that the vast majority of Jordanians aren’t anywhere near that figure, after all statically speaking that 14.2% of Jordanians live under the poverty level. But paradoxically Jordanian citizens get taxed for everything that moves under the sun! I mean seriously if a new tax has been introduced lately to tax the citizens for the outrageous prices they have been paying to live and survive in the first place.
Although the government claims to understand the struggles of the Jordanian Citizens on daily basis, and how they barely make it through the month sometimes with zero savings, they still managed to introduce numerous taxes over the past 12 months. Sadly some of the biggest cases of corruption have appeared and then, ever so promptly, disappeared – never to be heard from again. Were they resolved? Was the money, which at times stood in the millions, ever recovered?  It just seems that whenever corruption is involved, the hottest news making headlines managed to vanish within a week at the latest.
Honestly speaking, we pay extreme amounts of money monthly for utilities (Electricity, Water, Phone Bills/Internet Server), over the past couple of months many households haven’t had electricity last for more than two hours a day, others haven’t had water supply reach their house for weeks! So why over-pay for services that can just be cut off with no prior notice and are “ridiculously expensive to fix at the current moment!” Don’t we pay enough to deserve proper customer service? (The customer being the public and provider being well public-sector ministries) I guess the keyword is public sector after all.
What’s next? Taxation on using twitter, Facebook any social media network given that many Jordanians are active there? Either way we are paying a 1 JD mandatory tax for Universities and Education benefits in town, where many are studying abroad, and even more, have been paying it for years but haven’t seen a single difference on their university campus since, so we might as well pay an annual tax for blogging, micro-blogging on twitter or catching up with friends and family on Facebook, it’s only fair that we get taxed for almost everything…

Funny, last night one of my friends and I were discussing if the Jordanian Government where to issue a new tax, called “Dareebet il 3’ala2 al ma3eeshi” (Translation: A tax introduced for the high costs of living) and I thought it would be outrageous!
Outrageous is an understatement; as I opened up my laptop after Iftar today to check my email I was surprised to learn that such a tax has been issued to be imposed very soon in Jordan. In a protest in Jordan many political parties and trade unions have issued a statement last night for forming “a government of national unity capable of facing challenges, involving all stakeholders in the society and be open to all institutions of civil society and interact with and respond to the claim.” And I can’t stop wondering, is it do-able?
I remember reading somewhere the households with income of 1,000 Jordanian Dinars or less do not get taxed, but I thought it was ridiculous judging that the vast majority of Jordanians aren’t anywhere near that figure, after all statically speaking that 14.2% of Jordanians live under the poverty level. But paradoxically Jordanian citizens get taxed for everything that moves under the sun! I mean seriously if a new tax has been introduced lately to tax the citizens for the outrageous prices they have been paying to live and survive in the first place.
Although the government claims to understand the struggles of the Jordanian Citizens on daily basis, and how they barely make it through the month sometimes with zero savings, they still managed to introduce numerous taxes over the past 12 months. Sadly some of the biggest cases of corruption have appeared and then, ever so promptly, disappeared – never to be heard from again. Were they resolved? Was the money, which at times stood in the millions, ever recovered?  It just seems that whenever corruption is involved, the hottest news making headlines managed to vanish within a week at the latest.
Honestly speaking, we pay extreme amounts of money monthly for utilities (Electricity, Water, Phone Bills/Internet Server), over the past couple of months many households haven’t had electricity last for more than two hours a day, others haven’t had water supply reach their house for weeks! So why over-pay for services that can just be cut off with no prior notice and are “ridiculously expensive to fix at the current moment!” Don’t we pay enough to deserve proper customer service? (The customer being the public and provider being well public-sector ministries) I guess the keyword is public sector after all.
What’s next? Taxation on using twitter, Facebook any social media network given that many Jordanians are active there? Either way we are paying a 1 JD mandatory tax for Universities and Education benefits in town, where many are studying abroad, and even more, have been paying it for years but haven’t seen a single difference on their university campus since, so we might as well pay an annual tax for blogging, micro-blogging on twitter or catching up with friends and family on Facebook, it’s only fair that we get taxed for almost everything…

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Director of Digital Marketing Strategy by Day, Blogger by Night. Mother to my lovely Hana and a food addict.

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Comments

  1. God help us!

  2. The following video goes perfectly with this article..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_of0Z9r8RBw

    I hope there’s no tax on this post :)

  3. My ohhh My, where do i begin….shall i start off with the brand new several dozen 40K E class & C class Mercedes we paid for to make the lifes of the jordanian ministers and officials just a tiny bit more luxurious given that they all come from poor backgrounds and deserve to live off in luxury for the short period they are serving in office untill a new government with new ministers comes over and by that time Mercedes will have new models in line and we will have to pay for new cars for the new ministers. Or maybe i should start with talking about the road works performed by third party construction companies who get paid for fixing a road and then get paid again for fixing the work they did in the first place. I really dont see how only citizens in this country see the crapy work done on raods, dont officials drive around in Jordan and see how bad the road works are?? Ohhh i forgot, they just dont give a damn coz its not thier own cars they are using so they dont pay for maintenance or fuel. The government has been talking about reducing thier expenditure recently and that the set plans for doing so, this sounds good, but why do we have to pay about 20 million JOD a year only on government vehicles!!! why do we spend this much and then cry our eyes out to try to spend less.
    Why do i have to fill u my car with fuel worth 37 JOD with a price of .675 JOD per liter for 95 unleaded gas where the fuel prices have declined under 70 USD a barell.
    Why do i have to pay 870 JOD to fix my car and its air bag system after hitting a manhole that was popping in the middile of the road in a main street in Amman at night with no lights in the street and having the traffic police then ticket me 20 JOD for “driving without paying attention to traffic rules”. Why did the president of the insurance commission tell me ” the insurance policy i have covers the air bag of your car but doesnt not cover the air bag system…fa allah b3eenik 6alle7 3ala 7sabak” the insurance policy covers the air bag only, meaning the white fabric bag that inflates but not the electronic system !!!! isnt this fraud !!!!

    Why do i have to pay 590 JOD to fix my car after waking up in the morning and find it wrecked infront of my house and get toled by the traffic police ” allah bojbor”
    Why cant i deduct those expenses from my income tax!!!

    Why Why Why Why !!!!!
    The whole country needs to be filtered and cleaned up from government officials who see something wrong in thier feild of expertise and area of speciality and do nothing about it.
    untill we get a government who is not afraid to act, i will keep wondering Why.

    something wont change over time, i understand this, but why do things that have been in discussion for over 20 years havnt been solved yet. other nations solved bigger and more complex issues in a fraction of the time it is taking us to just figure out a fix.
    Some people might say that we dont compare ourselves in this country with other countries…. why the hell not !!!
    Why dont we compare ourslves with other nations, is it coz we are afriad to know the deferences or is it coz we are simply happy with how things are!!
    Obama won as the first colored US president in history with the word “CHANGE”, he believes in it and americans do as well and they want the change and they are willing to change from within. why cant we be at least open to the idea of changing.
    If each head of deprtment in each government entity dedicates only 5 minutes of his/her time on a daily basis to add one item, one item only to a check list of things to do in the next 5 years, we will see millions of things to be done but nothing being done to do them. Isnt this good enough reason for a CHANGE.
    Finally, all i have to ask from any governemt official who might have a sense of loyalty and responsibility is (Think logically to come up with rational ideas that are reasonable to plan and applicable to implement).
    As for officials who dont care i say (i cant reason someone out of a situation they didnt reason themselves into o 3ogbal ma nshoof ur taxes in a junk yard after hitting that manhole).

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