Are Bahrainis ready to become taxpayers?

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The recent government decision to increase gasoline prices comes following a period of uncertainty towards the economic situation. Throughout 2017 citizens have witnessed a major shift in the market with an increase in general expenditure. While there is a common understanding for the economic challenges facing the country and the region, the public were generally not well aware of government intentions to cut subsidies or increase gasoline prices beforehand. 

In 2016, there was a sudden announcement of a 60% increase in gasoline prices causing a panic to citizens who are used to stable pricing in the market and are completely dependent on government subsidies. This was repeated late last month when the government announced around a 30% increase in gasoline prices overnight. 

As Bahrainis, many of us do understand that we cannot be dependent on government subsidies whether its gasoline or other commodities. However, certain steps should be taken to prepare citizens for such major shifts in Government policy especially the ones affecting their daily lives and expenditure. The Government has arguably not done the necessary groundwork in preparing citizens and building awareness of their shared responsibility towards the nation. 

The simple fact is that in a climate since 2014 of significantly lower oil revenues, Bahrain as a nation must dramatically reduce its public sector spending to avoid finding ourselves faced with a catastrophic debt crisis. Therefore the Bahrain Government and other GCC states are correct in both reducing spending by different ministries and following through on a radical overhaul of subsidies; along with new methods for boosting revenue, such as taxation.

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Who is Murtada al-Sanadi?

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Getting to know Iran’s proxies in the region: This series looks at radical Iran-linked organizations and militants in order to better understand the threat they pose.

See here for a link to the entire series of Citizens for Bahrain dossiers on Militancy in Bahrain.

Summary: Who is Murtada al-Sanadi?

Murtada al-Sanadi is a Bahraini militant responsible for facilitating terrorist attacks inside Bahrain. Since 2012 Sanadi has been based in the Iranian city of Qom, liaising with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to coordinate terrorist attacks in Bahrain. Sanadi is described as the official spokesman for Bahrain’s Wafa Movement; as well as the Al-Ashtar Brigades, a terrorist entity responsible for dozens of attacks on Bahraini soil. Britain and the US State Department have also designated Sanadi and Al-Ashtar Brigades for their involvement in terrorism.

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Who are Al-Ashtar Brigades?

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Getting to know Iran’s proxies in the region: This series looks at radical Iran-linked organizations and militants in order to better understand the threat they pose.

See here for a link to the entire series of Citizens for Bahrain dossiers on  Militancy in Bahrain. 

Summary: Who are Al-Ashtar Brigades?

Al-Ashtar Brigades are a Bahrain-based terrorist group with known connections to Iran, responsible for numerous terrorist attacks, several of which resulted in the deaths of policemen. They first appeared during 2013, two years after the 2011 unrest, at first claiming responsibility for a number of minor acts of vandalism and terrorism.

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This blog keeps track of significant developments inside Bahrain’s Parliament

 

MPs seek to block petrol price increases – 10 Jan 2018

The 8 January Government decision for a sharp increase in petrol prices with immediate effect triggered an angry response from MPs during their weekly session the following day. Deputies immediately halted the session (cancelling the issues which were timetabled for debate) and huddled together to decide how to respond. Meanwhile, attending ministers and officials were forced to wait.

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