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Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Government postpones amendments on universal healthcare tithe

LEGISLATION WATCH- Gov’t postpones amendments on healthcare tithe to next parliamentary session: The government has postponed talks over setting a cap on the corporate universal healthcare tithe until the next parliamentary session, the local press reported, citing unnamed government officials. Delaying the debate will allow for more input from other stakeholders, the sources said. Under current plans, businesses will be charged a 0.25% levy on their revenues in order to finance the government’s universal healthcare scheme. The current parliamentary session was expected to finish at the end of June, but was extended into July due to unfinished legislative business. The new session is scheduled to begin in October.

Limiting the tithe: The Finance Ministry is studying a proposal that would set a limit on the tithe paid by businesses to fund the new healthcare system. Under the proposed measure, businesses would still pay the 0.25% levy on revenues, but the payment would be capped at an amount equivalent to 1.5% of total net profits.

Background: The government began rolling out its EGP 600 bn health insurance plan in Port Said earlier this month, and more governorates will be added gradually over the course of the next 11-13 years. The ministry started collecting taxes (including the 0.25% tithe) to fund the scheme this fiscal year. The levy will be charged on revenues and will not be tax deductible for this year.

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