Jordan withdraws draft income tax law after protests Jordan withdraws draft income tax law after protests

Jordan withdraws draft income tax law after protests
28 Jun 2018

Jordan's Cabinet has withdrawn a controversial draft income tax law from the Lower House following nationwide protests.

During the first session of the new government, the Cabinet promised to launch a national dialogue about the proposed legislation, which would increase income tax on individuals and several economic sectors, promising it would take the overall tax burden into account when doing so.

According to the state-run Petra news agency, Prime minister Omar Razzaz said he believed the withdrawal of the draft law was in the country's interest as its impact had not been fully evaluated, but it should also not be looked at in isolation from other taxes. He added that Jordan was committed to fiscal reforms and would take both social and economic conditions into account.

Razzaz pledged to withdraw the legislation after Jordanian King Abdullah II called on him to form a new government. His predecessor, Hani Mulki, resigned after nationwide protests demanding that the law be abandoned and the government sacked. Tens of thousands of Jordanians took to the streets over the proposed legislation, which is part of reforms under a deal between Jordan and the International Monetary Fund, according to Xinhua.

The controversial Bill has three main elements: improving tax collection, curbing tax evasion and boosting tax revenues, which are expected to increase by 300 million dinars (US$422.2 million) a year. The number of income tax payers in the country would also grow from 4.5% to 10% of the total population.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

Jordan's Cabinet has withdrawn a controversial draft income tax law from the Lower House following nationwide protests.

During the first session of the new government, the Cabinet promised to launch a national dialogue about the proposed legislation, which would increase income tax on individuals and several economic sectors, promising it would take the overall tax burden into account when doing so.

According to the state-run Petra news agency, Prime minister Omar Razzaz said he believed the withdrawal of the draft law was in the country's interest as its impact had not been fully evaluated, but it should also not be looked at in isolation from other taxes. He added that Jordan was committed to fiscal reforms and would take both social and economic conditions into account.

Razzaz pledged to withdraw the legislation after Jordanian King Abdullah II called on him to form a new government. His predecessor, Hani Mulki, resigned after nationwide protests demanding that the law be abandoned and the government sacked. Tens of thousands of Jordanians took to the streets over the proposed legislation, which is part of reforms under a deal between Jordan and the International Monetary Fund, according to Xinhua.

The controversial Bill has three main elements: improving tax collection, curbing tax evasion and boosting tax revenues, which are expected to increase by 300 million dinars (US$422.2 million) a year. The number of income tax payers in the country would also grow from 4.5% to 10% of the total population.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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