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