Parliament has voted against a government proposed sewage tax for expats and the private sector. The proposal constituted a 50% increase in monthly utility bills prompting Parliament Human Rights Committee Chairman Mohammed Al Maarafee to accuse the government of targeting expatriates saying “Everything imposed here is discouraging expatriates, whether it is higher electricity and water rates or paying more for healthcare. It is clear that the government is adopting the slogan “no to expats” sending a message that they should either leave or not go to Bahrain. This is despite their important role in supporting the community and economic development”.
Meanwhile Works, Municipalities Affairs, and Urban Planning Public Works Under-Secretary Ahmed Al Khayat says; “there is an overflow that needs to be tackled and the proposed 50% additional charge would help cover costs. We have stressed over the past 5 years that it would not affect Bahraini households”.
Parliament and Shura Council Affairs Minister Ghanim Al Buainain urged MPs said that a 10% increase initially proposed by Parliament Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Mohammed Millad was too low and will not be enough to subsidize expenses. The proposed BD10 fee for new sewage connections will now be reviewed by the Shura council.