Kuwaiti lawmakers hitting out at expats again

Published:  6 Feb at 6 PM
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Kuwait expats’ favourite lawmaker Safa al Hashem is at it again, claiming the Kuwaiti government isn’t taking any money from the emirate’s large expat population.

Al Hashem's main gripe is VAT, which she says is imposed on Kuwaitis at the same time as the government is collecting ‘nothing’ from expats whose numbers are three times as high when compared with the totals of Kuwaiti citizens. Her earlier calls for expats working in the emirate to be taxed for using the streets and breathing the air have made her a long-time butt for ascetic expat comments.

Having reported her latest rant, local English language media are now listing the charges imposed on expatriates for the privilege of working in Kuwait. These include medical charges at clinics and hospitals, annual private health insurance premiums, work permit and renewal of residence charges, electricity and water at a massive 250 per cent higher than locals pay, plus a good number of taxes by any other name.

In addition, under discussion are new laws to prevent expats in general from renting properties in private residential areas unless they can provide certified marriage contracts and copies of their wives civil IDs. Expats must also sign foreigner-specific rental contracts and register them with local mayors. The proposal seems to be a replacement for a former suggestion that single male expats should be forbidden from renting homes in such locations by withdrawing their civil IDs. Last month, another lawmaker called for all single male expats to be thrown out of Salmiya block 13 as they represented a danger to Kuwaiti families in the same area.
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