'Poverty' With High Salaries |
Kuwait Times - 28 August, 2012
On March 26, 2009 I wrote an article entitled "Government is responsible for the existence of bogus poorness." I mentioned in that article that the phrase "bogus poorness", which I used, is a concept that I don't think exists scientifically. But I used it because I did not find any other phrase that describes the state of poverty which Kuwaitis experience, even with their high salaries.
I said in the article, “bogus poorness” occurs when a Kuwaiti man’s salary is KD 1200, yet he cannot reach the 10th day of the month from the date he receives his salary without finding his balance has fallen to KD 10, which is all the money that remains for him. To be more precise, I mentioned that bogus poorness is the state in which the salary of the Kuwaiti man is equivalent to $ 3600, and in spite of that he cannot buy a house until he announces the ending his state of poorness and gives up half of his salary in order to purchase his dream house, and divides the amount over 15 years with interest, which is equivalent to the original loan, while the concerned parties maintain complete silence.
I continued by saying that bogus poorness is when the salary in your country does not cover your necessary commitments, and unnecessary ones, as well as state fees, traffic citations and school costs, and as you finish paying some fees, you enter into others, such as school, Ramadan, Eids… etc, and on every occasion traders attack you and take your money after selling you what is worth KD 3 at a cost of KD 120.
All this happens while supervision is absent, and if this happened in a country that knows how to protect consumers, then seasons and Eids would cause no problem. Otherwise, how could Christmas in UK and other places become a season with merchandise on sale, while holidays here in Kuwait are a season for hiking prices?
I spoke in my article about housing applications which have become more than the average citizen can bear, and the exaggerated rent increases in 2009, which ate up half of a citizen’s income, if he hoped to live half decently.
I gave as proof that Kuwaitis started to fall under the poverty line in their country, and yesterday Al Rai daily published a report by our colleague Anwar Al Fikr based on international and local reports issued by the Kuwait statistics department, which proves what I mentioned three years ago. Al Fkir wrote in his report that the purchasing power of the Kuwaiti dinar in 2012 is equivalent to KD 0.650 in 2007, and he linked this to consumer indicators which pointed to the increase of the prices of foodstuffs over a small period to record limits and the increase of educational and health services by 3.9%. The report also mentioned, according to statistics, that the share of a family consisting of five individuals is KD 3700 monthly from the national income, which I also raised in an earlier article on March 12, 2012. The article was entitled “Logical salary for a Kuwaiti citizen is KD 3666 monthly,” after making complicated calculations about the national income and number of people, as per simple arithmetic logic.
All those facts prove that government, or let us say previous governments, were all directly or indirectly working to push us deeper under the poverty line, in spite of the richness which we are supposed to be living in.
Note: Kuwaitis are rich in name only. – Al-Anbaa
By Thar Al-Rashidi