Lebanon rules out VAT hike
An increase in the country’s Value Added Tax (VAT) is out of the question, Prime Minister Najib Mikati said in remarks published Monday, ahead of possible Cabinet-level talks aimed at raising revenues.
“There will be no increase to the VAT, the issue has already been rejected by the Cabinet,” said Mikati, who spoke to An-Nahar newspaper.
A proposal by Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi to reform the country’s 12-year-old tax law and increase it from 10 percent to 12 percent was turned down by the Cabinet in January.
The 10 percent VAT was passed in Law 379 of 2001 and the law has not been amended since.
According to Mikati, Cabinet-level discussions of tax reform could possibly touch on ways to provide companies incentives.
“What is currently being suggested is to provide exemptions and incentives for some companies,” said the prime minister.
Mikati’s comments come as he is set to chair later during the day a broad meeting with the country’s economic committees, in an effort to encourage economic dialogue and development.
The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Grand Serail in the presence of a grouping of businessmen and owners of major firms in the country.
The economic bodies, of different political affiliations, routinely hold meetings with the prime minister who insists economic affairs should be separated from politics.