Finance minister rejects progressive tax

Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali has rejected a proposal by Shura Council members to introduce a progressive income tax.

"Our unified income tax system brings us more than what the old progressive tax system used to yield," said Ghali, at a meeting of the council’s economic committee on Tuesday.

Ghali said total collected taxes constitute 13 percent of GDP. "Yet tax revenue today is three times more than five years ago, thanks to the new unified tax system," he explained.

Ghali also rejected a proposal to levy taxes on profits made from stocks, saying this would adversely impact investment. "I don’t want to scare investors," he said.

In related news, council member Refaat el-Saeed disagreed with Ghali’s projection that next year’s inflation rate will reach nine percent. "The Central Auditing Agency estimates that inflation will rise by 16 percent," said el-Saeed, to which Ghali replied that the Tax Authority calculates inflation in a different way.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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