King: Reforms should protect low-income segments, empower middle class | Jordan News | Ammon News

King: Reforms should protect low-income segments, empower middle class

[1/8/2018 1:51:02 PM]

AMMONNEWS - His Majesty King Abdullah II on Monday emphasized that ongoing fiscal and economic reforms should protect low-income segments of the society and empower the middle class and said addressing public debt is a priority but spurring growth is the key to move forward in the right path.

His Majesty told a meeting with the speaker of the Lower House of parliament and heads of the House's committees: "Despite major economic challenges facing the nation, there are reasons for us to be optimistic in 2018 but we should work diligently and in a different fashion." He added: "I am optimistic that we can move forward in a better way because we have the ability to do so".

King Abdullah underlined the importance of government-parliament cooperation to press ahead with development plans and bolster the national economy. Addressing the lawmakers, His Majesty said: "Your role is important in the next phase, especially in light of the challenges facing our country."

King Abdullah pointed out that the economy, poverty and unemployment, and how to protect the middle class and the poor, are prime challenges facing the Kingdom and addressing them is everyone's duty.

He pointed out that the parliament will have many priority legislation to pass, such as the income tax law, which must address tax evasion.

During the meeting, King Abdullah stressed that all institutions should assume their responsibilities in terms of drawing up programs and strategies to stimulate growth and develop human resources. His Majesty emphasized that public officials must be strong in decision-making and must have confidence in their decisions.

Speaking about public sector reform, King Abdullah said the current stage requires broad and radical reform in all public sector institutions alongside the reforms currently undertaken by the Armed Forces and security agencies.

"All officials, senators and deputies should help us move ahead with the development of the 2018 reform program", His Majesty said. King Abdullah highlighted the importance of working with transparency and advancing the reform process to overcome the challenges the nation faces.

"I have presented more than one discussion paper to my people, but I do not see there is enough application by the various institutions. These ideas must be reflected on the ground through action, not just words," His Majesty said.

Speaking of the rule of law and non-complacency in its application, His Majesty stressed the need to respect the rule of law and the judiciary, expressing total rejection and discontent of interference by any deputy or official in the work of the judiciary.

"One can't respect the law outside Jordan and at the same time try to bypass it here at home", the King said.

With regards to the latest developments pertaining to the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem, His Majesty emphasized that Jordan has not and will never spare any effort to support the Palestinian brothers in their just cause, asserting that the region will not enjoy stability without reaching a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue.

His Majesty stressed that no positions or decisions will change the historical and legal facts or the rights of Muslims and Christians in Al-Quds Al-Sharif, saying Jerusalem brings together the Ummah and must be a priority for all.

In this context, King Abdullah said: "We will continue to work with the U.S. administration in the coming period to avoid any vacuum that would negatively affect Jordan's interests. We must work to influence any move related to the region."

He indicated that coordination with other Arab countries is ongoing to crystallize positions that address the serious challenges facing the region.

Turning to Syria, His Majesty indicated that the tripartite agreement between Jordan, the United States and Russia for a ceasefire and the establishment of a de-escalation zone in southern Syria would contribute to a political solution and protect Jordanian interests.

The King affirmed that Jordan supports all initiatives that help in reaching a comprehensive political solution within the Geneva process, in a way that guarantees the unity and stability of Syria.

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