First unfairnesses about the Finance Act of 2019

The Finance Law of 2018 received a lot of criticism after his vote. It is still today, given the heavy taxes and taxes that are imposed. The 2019 project to mark a pause, according to the first indiscretions, should have a lesser impact on citizens and businesses.

Demonstrations were held in January 2018 to challenge the provisions of the Finance Act 2018, adopted in December. The protesters had criticized a conviction "Exorbitant" consumption tax on many products whose prices had increased considerably, as well as a VAT increase of 18% to 19%.

Anti-austerity mobilization was observed in several Tunisian cities. Protesters took to the streets and chanted slogans "The expensive life" and "The increase in charges against civilians". The demonstrators became involved in the rioters and the gangs burst and lasted for a few days. 44 people were arrested in total, and one protester died, after violent clashes with police officers. In addition, various acts of vandalism were committed during these nights of tension.

The provisions of Act 2018 were observed "A blow from the club" for many citizens and businesses and even criticized by economists and members of civil society. In order to alleviate this galloping inflation, the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) had resorted to the increase in the main interest rate that went from 5.75% to 6.75% in June 2018. In 2017, the bill was not smoother. Combined with a rather severe economic crisis and inflation now approaching 7.5%, the last two PLFs have contributed to a tangible dissatisfaction.

This year it seems that things have a tendency to change. The first indiscretions about the law of finance suggest a bill without more taxes for companies and citizens. In a statement to the TAP news agency, a government source said today "The Finance Bill of 2019 contains no provisions to increase taxes on private individuals and companies, as was the case for the 2017 and 2018 versions". The same source shows that the new law on financial markets will broadly focus on a gradual reduction of the budget deficit.

We also learn that "Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has given clear instructions to all ministries, so that no tax is included in this new law." The same source also adds that "LF 2019 gives priority to services provided to citizens through specific loans and the creation of new types of contracts that will be used to employ thousands of young people in vital sectors".

According to the new Finance Act, 2019 would also be the first year to record a decline in public debt reaching alarming levels in 2018, 73 billion dinars at the end of June. More than half, or 50 billion dinars, comes from external debts.

If the same source does not give more details about the measures that will be taken to actually reduce the public debt, then it will be declared that next year the PLF will be affected by the increase in the growth percentage registered 2.8% during the 2ndth quarter 2018.

Last June, in addition to the work of the national conference on boosting employment, the Head of Government had already decided on the provisions of this new law, insisting on the need for "To ensure social stability, security and taxation to overcome the situation regarding the solution of the fiscal crisis and to switch to a growth model that promotes business creation, investment and employment". Youssef Chahed said that 2019-2020 and 2021 will focus on reducing taxes on producing, exploiting and exporting companies in the field of industry and technology. The priority is creating jobs and the impetus for investments.

The head of the government had already announced this in a statement to Mosaïque FM a few weeks ago "The Tunisian people will soon see the end of the tunnel, because 2018 will be the last difficult year for Tunisians". Will the Finance Act of 2019 present the beginning of this change? To find out, we will have to wait until December and vote in Parliament. For the time being, the consultation on the new Finance Bill 2019 is underway in view of the tight deadlines of its proposal to parliament. The government will indeed have to present the PLF 2019 to the parliament in a deadline not exceeding 15 October, and the deputies will be responsible for reviewing its provisions and voting in favor of the end of the current year.

TAJINE syndicate

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