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Parents with their young children shop for vegetables in downtown Amman, Jordan, Dec. 2, 2017 (AP photo by Lindsey Leger).

‘It Is a Dire Situation’: Will Jordanians Bear the Burden of Economic Reforms?

Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018

Jordan’s prime minister, Hani al-Mulki, reshuffled his Cabinet on Sunday, making changes in several key and telling portfolios, including the ministries of economy, labor and interior. The shakeup comes amid a period of public uneasiness over the direction of the country’s economy and who should bear the burden resulting from years of economic mismanagement by largely unaccountable policymakers.

In early February, the government raised the sales tax from 6 to 10 percent on more than 160 basic food items, services and commodities ranging from eggs to electricity. Brand new sales taxes were also introduced on agricultural products that were previously exempt, such as fertilizers and animal feed, angering farmers who vented their frustrations in front of government buildings. Ten days later, the government eliminated a subsidy on flour, doubling the cost of bread and sparking an outcry from the wider public. ...

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