Professional Associations Strike Against Changes to Income Tax Law

Thousands from thirty-three associations and unions took part in a strike against the proposed modifications to the income tax law today. The main associations who joined the strike include doctors, engineers, journalists, teachers, lawyers, and pharmacists who reject the draft law.

“We reject the draft law and want to deliver a message in a civilized manner,” a unionist stated.

In the industrial sector in particular, there is a 14 percent income tax and the proposed modifications will take it up to 20 percent, Mazen Tantash, the representative of Therapeutic Industries and Medical Supplies explained.

“This is catastrophic on all levels,” he said. “The government says there are a lot of positive points in the new law but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many negative points as well. There is a 17 percent increase in income tax on the pharmaceutical companies in specific and the industrial sector as a whole [with this law].”

“We hear a lot from the government that the International Monetary Fund, (IMF) and World Bank are pressuring us to do this. While there are external pressures, we are trying to let them know that there are internal pressures as well,” he added.

In a statement on the official news agency Petra, the Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament, Atef Tarawneh, said the house will not submit to the government’s formula of the law.

“We at the House of Representatives look after the interests of various economic sectors,” Tarawneh emphasized in the statement, adding: “We refuse to respond to any attempt by the IMF to impose proposals that do not take into account the challenges that we face.”

According to Petra, this month the house will initiate a series of extensive discussions on the draft law with the various sectors and officials from the Jordan Chamber of Commerce.