Jordan is one of the few countries whose credit rating increased — Ississ

Ministry of Finance
(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Finance Minister Mohammad Al-Ississ on Wednesday said that “Jordan was not and will not be a prisoner of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank” noting that “Jordan owns its decisions from A to Z”, according to Al-Mamlaka TV.اضافة اعلان

At a meeting of the government’s economic team with the Finance Committee of the House of Representatives to discuss the draft general budget and budgets of government units laws, Ississ said that “the present situation for most of Jordan’s revenues from indirect tax sources is not sound”.

“It cannot be said that the current budget is traditional because it is the first budget in years that exceeded the level of expenditures it had committed to without raising taxes,” said the minister, who also ruled out “an increase in salaries this year due to the challenges of the public debt and the deficit”. Such increase was a Finance Committee demand for public sector salaries.

Ississ pointed out that “all the observations made by the Finance Committee goes in parallel with what the government agrees on in terms of not raising taxes and heading toward fair direct and indirect taxes”.

He also said that using capital spending to stimulate growth, and thus stimulate investment and job creation, is in the interest of the citizen.

“With regard to capital spending, we cannot say that this is a traditional budget; it is a budget that raises capital spending by 43.6 percent, which is a historical level,” said the minister, adding that the government works to achieve justice by distributing the tax burden and prosecuting tax evaders.

Issis said that “sales taxes are not equal to the level of income, and therefore the proportion on spending of the middle class, from income, is much higher than that of the upper class, and therefore sales taxes are regressive and unfair. That is why the government reduced a large part of indirect taxes, including customs and taxes on food essentials”.

“We did this in a way that does not negatively affect public finances, by combating tax evasion,” the minister said, adding that this year’s budget “cannot be described as traditional, because it is the first budget that not only achieves the level of revenues that the 2021 budget committed to, but exceeded it without this government raising any existing tax or fee,” said the minister.

The government worked to “maintain the levels of public debt service”, which again makes it budget untraditional, “being the first budget where the public debt service is reduced at a limited rate of JD24 million, and the first time it decreases due the great efforts made by the members of this government”, said Ississ.

According to the minister, “the Ministry of Planning worked hard to obtain soft loans to replace the high-priced loans and interest”.

“Jordan is stable, and is one of the few countries in the world whose credit rating increased; Fitch Ratings raised its rating on Jordan to stable, and on the same day oil countries dropped their rating,” said Ississ.

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