Jordan to hike taxes to curb deficit

18 Jun 2010

(MENAFN) Jordanian government sources said that the country plans imminent tax hikes on gasoline, water and consumer items, as part of its austerity measures in order to keep 2010 budget deficit target at 6.3 percent of GDP, Reuters reported.

These yet-to-come taxes are part of bigger levies on the wealthy that also include a hike in VAT rates on a wide range of consumer items from alcoholic drinks to tobacco and coffee.

Jordanian citizens already pay a 16 percent tax on premium gasoline, whose prices that have been deregulated in recent years as part of cuts in fuel subsidies. Sources said that the government will hike it by another two percentage points.

Finance Minister, Mohammad Abu Hammour, said that despite the imminent raise in gasoline prices, a formula that sets prices on monthly averages will remain intact.

He said that the measures are part of the government�s stepped up efforts to reduce the budget deficit to 3 percent of GDP within the next three years and keep debt below 60 percent of GDP.

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