Nablus protesters denounce PA tax rise plans
Published Saturday 04/08/2012 (updated) 06/08/2012 16:31
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NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Dozens of supporters of the Palestinian People's Party rallied in Nablus on Saturday to protest plans by the Palestinian Authority to raise taxes, especially the value added tax, Ma'an's correspondent said.
"Our message to the Palestinian government is enough of raising prices and taxes adding more burdens to citizens," PPP member Khalid Mansour said.
"We say to Fayyad that you should take decisions which will enhance the Palestinian people’s ability to be steadfast in their lands in light of the attacks they suffer from settlers and Israeli forces," he added.
Protestors also denounced applying the polices of the International Monetary Fund on the Palestinian people.
The dean of An-Najah university's economics faculty told Ma'an that raising taxes was not the right way to end the PA's financial crisis.
"The PA should exert pressure by all means to secure a financial network through obtaining a monthly support of $100 million from Arab countries," Nafith Abu Bakr said.
"Retaining the PA is in the US interest, and international interest and an Arab interest, and so everybody should partake in solving its financial troubles, he added.
Last Tuesday officials told Ma'an that the PA intended to raise the Value Added Tax by 1 percent. PA sources said the new VAT would be set at 15.5 percent.
Days earlier the PA raised taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products.
Bandi Dahdah, director of the customs and tobacco department of the PA Ministry of Finance, said the tax increase would mean a 2-2.50 shekel price increase on local and international brands of cigarettes.
The rise in prices will raise the PA's revenue, meaning an extra $120-180 million a year.