Jumblat Calls for Axing Free Flights for Officials, Militaryإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat did not welcome a parliament's decision to impose a new batch of taxes to fund the wage scale, and has urged the government to put and end to corruption and to axe free travel entitlements for Lebanese ministers, deputies and military figures.
“Flight entitlements that are almost half-price for ministers, lawmakers on the Middle East Airlines must be stopped,” said Jumblat in a tweet on Friday.
He also said that other officials are benefiting from the half-price travel services under the pretext of having a special pass.
“Stopping the squander (of public funds) and addressing corruption in a scientific manner can provide for the wage scale and save us from this enormous amount of taxes,” added the MP.
The Democratic Gathering bloc leader stressed the need to eliminate the “central sources of corruption in order to avoid that kind of taxes,” and allocate the needed funds for the salary scale.
Jumblat has also called for “unifying the wage scale in all sectors including the civil and military personnel, and to address the surplus in the number of employees.”
Jumblat's comments came after the parliament imposed on Thursday a series of new taxes that included an increase in the value-added tax (VAT) from 10 to 11% , an increase in levies on financial transactions and other taxes related to cement, stamps, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.
The parliament says the new taxes are aimed at allocating the needed funds for the pay scale for government employees which include judges, teachers and military personnel.
Kataeb party MPs have strongly denounced the measures. Kataeb chief Sami Gemayel urged the government to address corruption instead of “emptying the citizen's pockets.”
The controversial move was decried by the majority of Lebanese and protesters took to the squares in Beirut and Tripoli on Thursday to reject the new taxes following calls on social networking websites.
Protesters at Beirut's Riad al-Solh Square were led by activists from the Kataeb Party, the National Liberal Party and others from March 14 and the civil society.