The Syrian government has set up a committee to create a proportional income tax system that would be fairer to people with average and low incomes, the government daily Tishrin reported Tuesday.
"The government wants to introduce a tax policy that is more just for workers and people with low and average incomes, to improve their standard of living," Tishrin said.
"A fiscal policy should introduce progressive taxes that go after the large fortunes first," the paper said, stressing "the disparities in the levying of taxes in Syria, where a civil servant pays as much as or more than a wealthy merchant."
The tax-reform committee is comprised of the ministers of economy, finance and planning, Tishrin added.
A presidential decree increased civil servants salaries' by 25 percent and retirees' pensions by 20 percent September 1.
The last salary and pension increases were in 1994 although purchasing power has dropped by nearly 12 percent per year.
The average civil servant's salary is no more than $100 a month, while the minimum monthly income for a government employee is $70. — (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )