Parliament Speaker calls for equitable sharing of sacrifices | Tunisia News Gazette

Parliament Speaker calls for equitable sharing of sacrifices

Speaker of the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) Mohamed Ennaceur called for a fair sharing of the sacrifices between all parties regarding the 2018 finance law in order to revive the economy, to give hope to Tunisians and to continue on the path of development.

Speaking at a parliamentary study day on the 2018 Finance Bill held in Tunis, he said he understood the extent of the difficulties due to the lack of financial resources and the increase of the country’s needs.

However, the sacrifice remains a duty that must be shared by all, he noted, encouraging the various parties to redouble their efforts and work to overcome the problems of creating wealth.

Ennaceur also urged the government to present its economic plan and its vision to reform the economic situation, stressing that the new finance law must be based on a participative orientation by opening to all sensitivities, because it constitutes a national issue related to the development and improvement of the living conditions of citizens.

He added that this study day aims to discuss the draft finance law for the next year in a period when the country is witnessing some positive signs in the economic field in the midst of pressure on public finances and poor economic growth.

Finance Minister Ridha Chalghoum, for his part, said progress has been noted in the recent period but some fragile sectors have not seen the same growth which should be 2% at the end of 2017, while recording pressure on public finances consisting of a current account deficit of 9%.

The budget deficit has also increased as well as the debt ratio from 10.4% in 2010 to 30% in 2017 to reach 10,330 million dinars, in addition to the rise in inflation.

He also recalled the objectives of the draft Finance Law for 2018, including the reduction of the deficit and directing compensation to the most needy.

The Minister referred to the measures introduced by the project for the creation of a Housing Loan Guarantee Fund for non-fixed income people and the exemption of 30,000 artisans from repayment of their debts from loans granted by the National Office of Crafts (ONA) with a ceiling of 2,000 dinars.

Chalghoum pointed out that official studies have revealed that the reform of social funds cannot be achieved in its entirety simply by increasing the retirement age, though it is a necessary measure, or by raising the public contribution but by the diversification of financing sources.

Therefore, the social solidarity tax was introduced in the new finance law concerning natural persons on the one hand and businesses on the other.

Source: TAP News Agency

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