Recent data released from the Central Statistics Bureau revealed that more than two-thirds of the expatriate workers, which constitute about 59.29 percent of all the expatriates in the country, earn less than KD 180 per month.
The data indicated 24.2 percent of the expatriates earn monthly salary of KD 180 – KD 360 while those who receive monthly salary of KD 360 and above form 16.51 percent of the expatriate population.
In the private sector, 1.52 percent of expatriates earn less than KD 60 per month, 43.19 percent earn KD 60 – KD 120 per month and 14.58 percent of expatriates receive a monthly salary varying from KD 120 to KD 180.
Expatriate workers in the private sector with salaries ranging from KD 180 to KD 420 form 27.3 percent. Those earning KD 420 and above constitute 13.48 percent of the expatriate population.
Reacting to the information, several citizens and expatriates expressed serious objection to the idea of imposing tax on money transfers made by expatriates. They said such a move will constitute extra burden on lowincome earners who work in the fields of construction, cleaning, teaching, representative (mandoub), driving and other such fields.
Mahmoud Salah said even thinking of imposing tax on remittances of expatriates is cumbersome. He declared that the mechanism will prevent many expatriates from using money transfer service to send money home, indicating that the decision is enough to send many people to black market where they can send money home freely.
Salah stressed, “This system will work against the interest of money exchange offices and will create an impression in the minds of expatriates that they are being discriminated.” A Kuwaiti respondent simply called Bu Ali said imposing tax on remittances of expatriates indicates the government’s failure in finding alternative sources to oil revenues.
He stressed that such a policy will reflect negatively on citizens, because expatriate technicians will increase charges for services such as plumbing, electrical works, carpentry and others. Bu Ali lamented that such a decision is a form of injustice against expatriates whose salaries are not consistent with the increase in prices of essential commodities, services and rents.