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Posted On: 2 May 2013 01:10 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:12 pm

Kuwait to levy high service taxes from foreign labourers

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Kuwait plans to increase service charges on foreigners, media reports said yesterday, triggering the ire of the main labour union which also blasted the government for deporting hundreds of expatriates. State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al Sabah said in comments published yesterday that the government has sent a draft law seeking to raise public services charges on expatriates. “The state spends KD6.0bn ($21bn) a year on subsidies for services like electricity and water … two thirds of which ($14bn) go for expatriates,” the minister said in remarks carried by Al Rai newspaper. He said that all neighbouring Gulf states have raised charges on expatriates and the government cannot follow suit because of a 1992 law that bans it from raising charges without legislation. The minister’s remarks come amid government threats to deport large numbers of expatriates and after a senior traffic official said that 213 expatriates had already been sent home for committing “grave” traffic offences. Last month, Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Thekra Al Rasheedi said the emirate plans to deport around 100,000 expatriates a year for the next 10 years to reduce the number of foreigners by one million. She did not say what measures would be adopted to put the plan into effect. Kuwait has 2.6 million expatriates who form 68 percent of the country’s 3.8 million population. Source : Qatar Chronicle