Palestinian PM withdraws fuel price, VAT hike after heavy protests

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Thousands of Palestinians on Tuesday took to the streets across the West Bank protesting the high cost of living and price hikes. Protesters called on the PA to abolish the Paris Protocol, which they said rendered the Palestinian economy subordinate to Israel. Photo – Maan News Agency

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Tuesday announced the withdrawal of hike in fuel prices and VAT after more than a week of protests across the West Bank over the spiralling cost of living.

“The price of fuel will be returned to what it was in late August, starting Wednesday,” Fayyad said in a press conference after a cabinet meeting.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also announced the reduction of the value added tax to 15%, and the reduction of the prices of fuel such as; Diesel, gas, cooking gas starting, in the wake of the economic protests that have swept the West Bank.

The subsidies will be funded with the money that Fayyad will cut from the salaries of government ministers and other top officials.

The Prime Minister pledged to pay half of the delayed Augusts’ salaries with no less that 2000 NIS by Wednesday. The rest will be paid during a week. He also announced reduction of the expenses of the government, except in the education and health sectors.

Fayyad said at the end of the conference that Palestinians have the right to raise their voices. However, the former IMF official said that he condemned the violence that occurred during some protests.

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