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Gov’t claims increased tax benefits people

By Messenger Staff
Friday, December 2
Members of the Government of Georgia state that increased excise tax on tobacco, imported cars and oil products is oriented towards helping the state economy grow and support people in boosting their incomes.

Government claimed that a 60 tetri excise tax increase on tobacco and a 12-25 tetri increase on oil products and a still unspecified increase on imported cars will benefit citizens of Georgia.

Officials assure that increase of tax on imported cars would also improve ecological situation in the county, specially in the case when excise tax on hybrid cars would be decreased by 60percent and electronic cars won’t be taxed at all.

It is a “generally acknowledged truth” that increase in oil products’ prices stirs the growth of cost of almost all products.

The average salary in Georgia ranges between 300-400 GEL, which is very low.

Prices on certain products have already gone up, as since 2014 Georgia’s national currency has dramatically decreased against the US dollar.

1 GEL now costs around 2.6 USD, and more at currency exchange booths.

It is very likely that increased oil products will have an influence on prices in Georgia, which may lead to dissatisfaction amongst the people.

An increase in oil product prices will allegedly make transport more expensive.

Tbilisi Mayor’s Office stated they could regulate and subsidies additional expenses for yellow busses; however mini-busses and taxi services are not under the Mayor’s Office jurisdiction.

The Tbilisi population is already unhappy with the low quality service of mini-buses which are chronically overcrowded, and drivers’ refrain from switching on air condition or heating system as this would increase the consumption of petrol. An increase in the cost of public transport from the current 80 tetri will allegedly be protested by passengers.

With regards to the Government’s argument over hybrid and electronic cars, such cars are generally unavailable for most Georgians due to the hard economic situation, and at the same time there are just two stations in capital Tbilisi able to charge electronic cars.

Overall, the changes planned from next year are very likely to be criticized and opposed by the population.

It will be hard for the Government to persuade people to believe that the changes and increase of prices are for their sake.