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Egypt price rises hit cinema tickets, train fares

January 16, 2019 at 3:15 pm

An employee counts banknotes at currency exchange shop in Cairo [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]

The Egyptian government has imposed additional fees on public services including cinema tickets, train fares, casinos and telephone transmissions.

The decree, signed by Egyptian Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali, stipulates that the proceeds of the additional fees will go towards the Fund for Supporting Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations, itself part of the Ministry of Social Solidarity.

The increase follows similar price hikes last month which saw a fee imposed on all tickets sold for sports games, parties, theatres and amusement parks.

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The rises were implemented as part of Egypt’s commitment to economic reform stipulated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in accordance with the country’s loan agreement. Finance authorities also introduced VAT for the first time last year, increasing the cost of countless goods and simultaneously cutting state subsidies on fuel, electricity and water.

The policies have added to the financial woes of the millions of Egyptians living below the poverty line, many of whom have complained of being unable to afford basic necessities since the price hikes. In June, it was reported that Egypt is also planning to increase public tax revenues by 131 per cent over the next four years, despite President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi approving a law just two months earlier that allowed for an increase in the salaries of senior state officials.

In July, in an unprecedented show of digital dissent, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians took to Twitter to voice their discontent and call for Al-Sisi to step down in the aftermath of further fuel and electricity subsidy cuts.

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