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Tax hikes in Jordan flood markets with high prices

Tax hikes in Jordan flood markets with high prices

AMMAN: Local media on Wednesday published a list of 164 items subject to a new taxation regime of four to 10 percent imposed by the government to raise funds in line with commitments to creditors, including the World Bank and IMF. Al Ghad newspaper, the biggest Arabic daily, published the list, which included a wide range of fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, and dairy products, among many others. The increase also includes fresh fish, frozen meat, table salt and a wide range of basic items. The move came just hours after parliament approved lifting subsidies on bread and other main commodities. The increase is in addition to an already existing sales tax and value added tax as well as government-controlled fuel prices that have been soaring, economists said. The government has also imposed new tariffs on fuel, silver, gold, diamonds and imported vehicles ranging from nearly 750 dollars to 2,100 dollars, depending on size of the vehicle, said local media. Jordan, a country with little financial resources and a high level of corruption, has been suffering from increasing foreign debt that has climbed over the past ten years to reach 95% of revenues. The government said it approved an aid parcel of 35 USD annually per-person to low-income citizens, but economists said the increased prices are well higher than the provided aid.