|Published:||10 Jun at 6 PM|
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Expats in Oman are devastated at Oman’s sudden introduction of a 100 per cent tax on alcohol, tobacco and pork.
The tax will apply from next Saturday, with its revenue part of the emirate’s effort to reduce its traditional reliance on oil , and will also include energy drinks at the same rate. Carbonated drinks will be subject to a 50 per cent tax, with the move expected to generate around 100 million rial, the equivalent of $260 million.
The new tax, unpopular with Oman’s high number of expats but unlikely to affect Muslim citizens as severely, was first mooted some 18 months ago, but the effects of shrinking reserves and lower oil prices have forced its introduction at the present time. In addition, the emirate’s lack of progress as regards fiscal reforms has caused its economic rating to slump into junk grades and is fuelling worries Oman will be forced into approaching its wealthier neighbours for a bailout.
Meanwhile in Kuwait, lawmaker Safa al-Hashem is hitting out at expats again, warning the government that ignoring the demographic imbalance will cause more trouble in the emirate. Her latest ideas include deporting labourers, charging expats fees for the use of Jaber Causeway and even charging foreigners for the use of the emirate’s beaches. The fiery MP reiterated her believe the unbalanced demographic is eroding Kuwait’s infrastructure, blaming expats for the large amount of waste left on the parks and beaches during the recent Eid holiday.
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