February 2024

The Kuwaiti Progressive Movement presents its critical reading of the government's class-biased program of action against the majority of the people and ignores political reform and fundamental problems in the country

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The Central Committee of the Kuwaiti Progressive Movement followed the government's work program, which was submitted to the National Assembly under the constitutional obligation in Article 98, and with the importance of references to the transition from a rentier economy to a productive economy. However, we record some important observations and caution that this program has serious drawbacks and shortcomings that require reconsideration, most notably:

First: the program ignored most of the basic problems suffered by the majority of citizens and the population, such as housing, high rents, deterioration of public services, the issue of Kuwaiti Bedoon, discrimination against women, and the problem of insolvent borrowers, neglected any reference to improving the standard of living, and did not address cultural and artistic programs and activities.

Second: the program in the political and security axis avoided any reference to the benefits of political and electoral reform, which is the first entrance to any serious reform, and the government's work program in the administrative axis limited the fight against corruption to administrative corruption only and overlooked the two serious aspects of corruption related to political corruption and financial corruption.

Third: the government's work program was blatantly biased towards the private sector and included references to reducing the economic role of the state when it touched upon "achieving balance in the structure of the national economy by redrawing the role of the government in economic activity to return to the private sector its leading role"... He defined the " sustainable productive economy "as" an economy based on the empowerment of the private sector " and neglected the role of the state sector or the public sector as well as the cooperative sector, which, within a serious development plan headed towards industrialization and the development of productive forces, can play important roles in the transition from a rentier economy to a productive economy... Not to mention that the program included a class-biased and not only wrong understanding of article 20 of the Constitution when he pointed out that" the first step begins with activating article 20 of the Constitution by expanding the offering of investment opportunities to empower the private sector, " while Article 20 of the Constitution talks about fair cooperation between public and private activities, not empowering the private sector, as the government's work program puts forward. Here we recall what was stated in the comment of the Kuwaiti Progressive Movement on 4th January when the current prime minister was appointed when we alerted that "to what is rumored about the neoliberalism of the new chairman of the Council of ministers under his class status, economic activities, and academic background, which requires attention to his economic and socio-economic orientations regarding privatization and reducing social spending items in the state budget and loading popular groups with additional burdens..." And here is the government's work program confirming the correctness of what we have warned about.

Fourth: the program lists several programs and draft laws that affect public freedoms and popular social gains, such as the submission of the draft law on media regulation, despite the criticism raised about it... And"re-pricing of government services," which means introducing or increasing fees for government services... And "renew the model of subsidies to be fair and sustainable and study the categories eligible for subsidies," fearing that the intention here is to reduce subsidies or cancel some of them, such as electricity, water, gasoline and ration cards, which harms the standard of living of the popular and Middle groups.

Fifth: unlike the fact that the government's work program, as contained in its title, covers the years from 2024 to 2027, however, it restricts its programs to what it called the first hundred days of government work, and limits the legislative requirements for the implementation of the program to the bills that the government will submit in the current second session of the National Assembly, and does not refer to the legislative requirements, which the government is supposed to submit in the rest of the roles of the current seventeenth legislative term of the council, which raises a serious question about the age of the government and parliament!

Sixth: we note with surprise the excessive attention in the program to what the international factor called by including it as one of the "related parties" and as one of the four basic performance indicators, and this is related to adhering to the illusion of the importance of attracting foreign investment to a country with surplus capital like Kuwait and making unrealistic and misleading comparisons between Kuwait and the OECD countries.

The Kuwaiti Progressive Movement, in making these remarks about the government's work program, holds the deputies responsible for passing it as it is, and calls on them to declare clear positions regarding the negatives and shortcomings it entailed, and calls on the Kuwaiti people to be vigilant and careful of the poison hidden in the honey of flowery and elastic phrases and to counter any attack on people's livelihood, freedoms and national wealth.

Kuwait on 7th of February 2024