Economy Minister Raed Khoury ushered in the potential imposition of new taxes as the 2018 state budget is being examined, signaling that another string of levies may be applied after the government got disappointed with the overestimated revenue of taxes promulgated over the summer.
In remarks published in Al-Joumhouria newspaper, Khoury justified the high expenses included in the state budget as he cited five reasons to shore up his argument about the need for new taxes.
First, the ranks and salaries scale, which was estimated at $1.2 billion, turned out to actually cost $1.9 billion; a cost that is expected to rise even higher if the state institutions are to be included in said law.
Second, it wasn't expected that the 2018 budget includes more spending due to employment in state institutions and security agencies.
The third reason is the ongoing increase in public debt in addition to the high interest rates that Lebanon is incurring.
Fourth, the power sector costs are set to witness a hike due to the increase in oil prices.
Finally, revenues from the taxes that were ratified a few months ago to finance the salary scale did not meet expectations as they haven't generated the needed amount.