“Have mercy and go easy on poor expats” is what MPs said over the increase in fees for services, despite the acceptance of the necessity to pay for them. Some MPs said the fees should not be for all without regard to differences in salaries between one expat and another, while others said that fees should be collected from marginal laborers because they cause much of the corruption and endanger security, while exempting Arab laborers.
Chairman of the Interior and Defense Committee MP Abdullah Al-Maayouf said it is necessary that the sponsor should bear any fee increases of expat workers, adding the state has increased fees for citizens, as passport renewal used to cost KD 5 and now it is KD 30, as well as fees of renewing car registration, but this does not mean increases should be made without a study. He said “the state should not seek to collect taxes from simple people, and if the government is going ahead in raising fees, then services should be improved”. He said the government is seeking to diversify sources of income by imposing taxes indirectly on expat workers, “especially after the drop in oil prices and the unearthing of public funds squandering in past years”.
Meanwhile, Interior Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs Major General Abdullah Al- Muhanna said the decision to deport expats driving without a license does not apply to those who forget to have the license with them, and it also does not apply to those whose licenses expire. He said the ministry calls upon citizens and expats to keep their documents including driving licenses with them, adding that those whose licenses have expired should not drive because they will be in violation, but the deportation decision does not apply to them. He said the traffic department impounds the vehicles of those who drive with expired driving licenses