Kuwait Times, Saturday, Jul 17, 2021 | Zul Hijjah 7, 1442
MP says proposed KD 2,000 fee for over 60 expats ‘too much’
MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji said yesterday that the proposed decision to impose a KD
2,000 annual fee on elderly expats is “exaggerated” and “illogical” and called
on authorities to reconsider it. Turaiji was commenting on reports which said
that the Public Manpower Authority has decided to impose the expensive fee on
expats over 60 years of age and who hold a higher secondary certificate or
lower. The decision was reportedly taken but has not yet been issued and came
following criticism of an earlier decision to stop the renewal of work permits
for that section of expats.
The lawmaker said the proposed decision does not achieve the objectives it has
been taken for and also does not serve the official policy of amending the
population structure, sharply tilted in favor of expats. Turaiji said the
decision will lead to raising prices of commodities and services and Kuwaiti
citizens will bear its consequences, especially on the health front since the
beneficiaries of the decision will be allowed to receive medical services at
government health centers.
He said that a number of those expats will not be able to pay the expensive fees
although some of them were born and have spent most of their lives in the
country. A large number of such expats, especially those who have businesses,
will however be able to pay the fees but will seek to raise the prices of their
commodities and services, he said.
Turaiji said the best solution is to introduce a health insurance scheme with
reasonable cost for expats over 60 to receive medical care at private hospitals.
The scheme can later be made mandatory for all expats. The lawmaker also said
that charges on work permits and residencies for expats should be periodically
increased but in a rational way.