Kuwaiti MPs call for increased service fees for expats

Officials also looking to limit the $16.5 billion remittances that expats send abroad
Kuwaiti MPs call for increased service fees for expats
By Staff writer
Thu 08 Sep 2016 10:53 AM

MPs in Kuwait have called for the increase of service fees for expats.

Fees on services such as health, residency, tourist and commercial visas should be reviewed, according to MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji, Kuwait Times reported.

Al-Turaiji said such measures should be taken to find alternative revenues to replace low oil income.

He added the increase in charges should not be high, but said it is “urgent” and “necessary” in order to correct the imbalance of the population structure in Kuwait.

“It is not logical to have the number of expats threefold that of citizens, and most of them are unskilled and uneducated, which poses a security as well as social and economic concern,” he said, calling for tightened supervision over residency traders who he said caused the defect in the population structure.

MP Sultan Al-Lughaisem also demanded fees be increased on expats. He pointed to the $16.5 billion (KD 5 billion) worth of remittances that expats send abroad every year.

He said the government must “move quickly to limit the large amounts” and find a way to invest that money in Kuwait.

“Kuwait was always generous to those who live in it, but we are now in a situation that compels us to stimulate the market and search for revenues that add to the budget, and our dependence should not be on oil only,” he said.

On the other hand, MP Ahmad Al-Qudhaibi said price increases reflect negatively on people and the economy. He said the government must “take steps before taking a decision that ‘will not have positive results”.

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