Tunisian president proposes taxing the wealthiest
The President of Tunisia, Kais Saied, has proposed the idea of taxing the country’s wealthiest people in order to avoid the “diktats” of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a major financial agency of the United Nations.
During a meeting with Najla Bouden, the Prime Minister of Tunisia, the President announced his idea of “taking surplus money from the rich to give to the poor.” He said, “Instead of lifting subsidies in the name of rationalization, it would be possible to introduce additional taxes on those who benefit from them without needing them.” He revealed that the subsidy program in Tunisia benefits all citizens in the country, including the rich people.
The IMF and Tunisia reached an agreement in October last year on a bailout package worth nearly $2 billion. However, the IMF demanded eliminating energy and food subsidies and the restructuring public bodies in order to receive an international rescue package. The IMF urged Tunisia to restructure more than 100 state-owned firms in the country, which have monopolies over many parts of the economy.
People in Tunisia are suffering because of a financial crisis. There are chronic shortages of basic food products and medical supplies. The country also faces mounting public debt and inflation. There is also an increase in the unemployment rate. The halted negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about the bailout package have also affected the country. IMF Bailouts are a form of financial support provided by the UN agency to countries facing major economic crises.
Talks between the IMF and Tunisia about the economic reforms and financial package were halted in July 2021 when Tunisian President Kais Saied sacked the government and suspended parliament, rocking the democracy of the country.
In 2021, Tunisia agreed to establish a targeted assistance system to help the most vulnerable people, complying with IMF conditions.