President Morsi\'s tax hikes were attacked by his own party
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has issued a decree cancelling the tax law amendments announced yesterday, which raised taxes on up to 50 goods and services.
The amendments enacted by Morsi as legislator
in the absence of parliament, had triggered wide-ranging outrage and controversy in political and economic circles, with many experts warning of a hunger strike.
In a statement, the President cited \"the burdens borne by struggling Egyptian citizens during this difficult economic period,\" as the main reason behind his reversal. The statement also called for \"social and public discussions moderated by experts to take place regarding the proposed hikes, in order to gauge public opinion and approval.\"
The Freedom and Justice Party, which Morsi ran before he became president, was among the voices slamming the tax increases for the negative effect it would have on the country’s poor population.
The new tax policies affected goods and services ranging from electricity and gas, to alcohol and tobacco through credit and stock trading. Egypt was plunged into an economic crisis following the January 2011 revolution, prompting President Morsi’s government to apply for a $4.8bn loan from the International Monetary Fund [IMF].
After Morsi\'s tax announcement, economic experts in the country attacked the president. Hamdy abdel-Azeem told Arabstoday that the decisions came as part of the conditions outlined by the IMF, adding that experts had warned of the repercussions of obtaining the loan. He said that the decisions would increase the public anger, as the revolution has not achieved the demands of the people.
Egyptian expert Sultan abu-Ali said that the decisions would fuel the public anger, adding that they could lead to a new revolution in Egypt. He added that leaders of the new revolution would not be politicians, but the poor people. According to Abu-Ali, the government had refused to reveal IMF\'s conditions to the people.