Lebanon's cabinet discusses budget but without their finance minister
The Lebanese Cabinet
President Michel Sleiman adjourned Cabinet and a new date was set for Wednesday where the state budget debate will continue.
Prime Minister Najib Mikat said at the end of the three-hour meeting that ended around 1 p.m. that Cabinet will meet at the Grand Serail in Downtown Beirut at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
The session began at 10 a.m. at Baabda Palace. Economy Minister Nicolas Nahas is the acting finance minister.
The revised budget proposal includes a 2 percent hike on both Value Added Tax and interest-revenue taxes, revising the VAT from 10 to 12 percent.
The budget also proposes a new 15 percent tax on profits made through real estate transactions. Property bought before 2009 would be taxed 4 percent of the total sale amount.
Safadi has said that tax increases are necessary due to the soaring public expenses since the government approved a wage hike of 31 percent for public servants.
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