Bahraini unions slam ‘salary tax’



Communication, Posts and Civil Aviation Authority trade union head Jamal Ateeq said in principle, they welcomed the move but were against the way it had been implemented.




"We still don’t know how the scheme is going to be implemented and who is going to manage it," he told the GDN.



He said the unions feel that the scheme should be implemented after taking their views into consideration and making sure that all the parties concerned were satisfied.



Mr Ateeq said another point of contention was who would be eligible for the monthly allowance.



"We understand that all the unemployed would get the benefit which, we think, is not fair," he said.



"The newly unemployed should not get the benefit immediately and they should have spent at least some time looking for a job.



Mr Ateeq said there was also the religious angle since it was considered "un-Islamic" to take money from an employee’s salary without his consent.



Top Shi’ite clergyman Shaikh Hussain Najati, had earlier told our sister newspaper Akhbar Al Khaleej that deducting money from people’s salaries was "haraam" (a sin) and the unemployed would be taking "haraam" money if they accepted the dole.



"There are a lot of positives in the law but it has many political, social, religious, financial, religious and legal loopholes which should be addressed and fixed before the law is implemented," he said.



A spokesman of the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions said they welcomed the law in principle, but were opposed to the way it was being implemented.



The spokesman said it was imperative to have the blessings of every single employee in this venture, without which it would be of no use.



However, a spokesman of the Bahrain Unemployed Committee Hassan Abdul Nabi welcomed the government move, but said the payout of BD120 per month to the "less than secondary educated" and BD150 per month to those more qualified was not enough.



Though deductions are due to begin at the end of this month, the unemployed would start receiving the benefits from September.



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