Home > News > World
Saturday May 10, 2014 MYT 10:50:14 PM
Saturday May 10, 2014 MYT 10:51:37 PM
CAIRO (Reuters) - A new 5 percent surtax on the incomes of wealthy Egyptians will last for three years, the finance minister said on Saturday, less than three weeks before the country elects a new president.
Hany Dimian said the tax, approved by the cabinet last week, would apply to those earning more than one million Egyptian pounds (84,200 pounds) annually in 2014, 2015 and 2016. He said the first payment would be due in January 2015.
Those subject to the tax would be given the choice of whether their funds should go towards public projects in education, health, agriculture, housing or infrastructure.
The temporary tax had been under discussion for several months, but its approval comes shortly before a May 26-27 presidential election which is widely expected to be won by former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The measure still needs to be passed by Interim President Adly Mansour before it can be implemented.
Social justice and fairer distribution of wealth were among the demands of protesters who ousted veteran president Hosni Mubarak in Egypt's 2011 Arab Spring revolution. Elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi was removed by the army last year in the wake of mass protests.
The turmoil has hammered the economy, driving away foreign investors and tourists.
The country of 85 million has been struggling to curb a budget deficit that swelled to around 14 percent of gross domestic product last year. It is under pressure to cut subsidies that eat up around a fifth of its budget, but risks triggering protests if it does so.
In a television interview this week, Sisi said energy subsidies could not be lifted quickly and insisted he would intervene to protect the poor from rising prices. But he did not spell out details of how he would manage the economy of the largest Arab state.
(Reporting by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)
Egypt sentences Muslim Brotherhood leader Badie to life in jail
Egypt says global action needed to counter Islamic State
Egypt tourism could fully recover in 2015 - minister
Hardest yet to come for France's Hollande
North Korea sentences US citizen Matthew Miller to six years hard labour
Turkey secures release of hostages held by Islamic State
Storm leaves 200,000 displaced in Philippines, heads for Taiwan
Third term beckons for New Zealand government as polls open
Thousands of Syrian Kurds flee to Turkey as Islamic State advances
Italy's Renzi, unions clash over cuts, labour reforms
Alice, steampunk and a false name: enigma of an American jailed in North Korea
Selangor MB crisis: PKR denies that Azmin has Anwar’s blessings
HTC's Butterfly 2 takes flight
The magic of Harry Potter lives on in Osaka
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)