September 2023

Osamah Alabdulrahim, Secretary General of the Kuwaiti Progressive Movement: We reject the neoliberal capitalist governmental tendencies by hastily approving the VAT Agreement and confirming the recommendations to cancel the price-fixing decision and privatize cooperative societies in Kuwait.

تم النشر بواسطة المكتب الإعلامي
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Contrary to what is stated in the government's work program of legislative Chapter seventeenth 2023-2027, local newspapers have published information about dangerous government orientations of a neoliberal capitalist nature aimed, on the one hand, at harming the standard of living of the overwhelming majority of citizens and the low-income population as well as the middle class; and, on the other hand, serving the narrow class interests. Where these dangerous Government trends are represented by:

1-the government requests the National Assembly to urgently approve the draft law on the unified value-added tax agreement for the GCC countries referred since the year 2017 to the National Assembly, although the value-added tax is not included in the government's work program, which is supposed to be a reference to determine the government's approach, directions, policies, programs it seeks to implement and the laws it seeks to approve, Also, although the project did not include a law for diversity in addition to the list of requirements for all the government work program that includes 30 draft law...What is surprising about the motives of this urgency for the draft law of the unified Gulf agreement on Value Added Tax, reveals that its goal is to pave the way for the imposition of this socially unfair tax, which generally does not distinguish between rich and poor consumers.

2- In his answer to one of the Parliamentary questions addressed to him, the minister of Commerce and Industry confirmed the other government recommendation assigned to the Ministry of Commerce to cancel its decision no. 67 for the year 2020 to stabilize prices, in response to repeated pressures from the Chamber of Commerce, which opens the door to a new wave of inflation and high prices, while what is required according to the interests of the overwhelming majority of citizens and residents with low and medium incomes is to find guarantees that limit the continuous increase in commodity prices, starting by setting a profit cap after calculating the cost of import, developing a commodity price policy based on strict control, and involving civil society and its concerned entities to protect The consumer and give him effective control powers to counteract the price hike.

3-the minister confirmed the same in that response to the government recommendation entrusted to the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Social Affairs to adopt models for the privatization of cooperative societies, a recommendation that would liquidate the cooperative sector, which handles about 70 percent of retail trade in Kuwait, and transfer cooperative ownership from social ownership to private sector ownership, bypassing what the Constitution decided that the state should support cooperation.

We, in the Kuwaiti Progressive Movement, reject these Government orientations that are contrary to the interests of the overwhelming majority of citizens and residents with low and middle incomes and are in harmony with the narrow class interests of the influential capitalist oligarchy. We call on the trade union movement, the cooperative movement, professional associations and popular forces in general to address them, and we also call on members of the National Assembly to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities in objecting to the urgency of the draft law on the unified value-added tax agreement and the government recommendations to cancel the decision to fix prices and privatize cooperative societies, and to expedite laws and decisions aimed at improving the standard of living and achieving social justice.

Kuwait on 6th of September 2023