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As luck would have it2010-06-29 16:13
Georgia's new Tax Code has sparked student protests. The government suggests amending the law forcing colleges to pay higher taxes than gaming businesses. The idea that instead of going to college not well-off young people will go playing cards with a higher training cost seems not to dawn on the authors of the draft law. Or they simply don't consider it so dreadful. The main thing is that a more rigid code gives the government some extra GEL 200 mln which, as we know, are not easy to come by.
For lots of Georgian students this summer vacation might be the last one. Georgian government presented a draft law that might leave grassroots without higher education if made effective.
It is suggested that a tax rate for higher educational institutions be increased to 18% inevitably leading to a higher training cost both in for-profit and state-owned institutions where "budget departments" were reduced to the minimum long ago.
No one would have expected that such a progressive government that constantly highlights the need in a better quality of education, computerized classes for first-grade pupils and broadcasting foreign movies in a source language would have played such a mean trick. All these novelties that president Mikheil Saakashvili so eagerly advertises don't tally with the decision to shut the door with a bang to financially unsound students.
Today students organized a rally in front of the parliament building supported by opposition parties and the Association of Young Lawyers, as Georgian media report. However, the association is only starting to study the draft law not ready yet to express its position, as GeorgiaTimes found out.
Nonetheless, young people for whom the government closes the doors to enlightenment understand quite clearly what is in store for them in the nearest future. The tax burden for universities looks particularly revolting against lowered taxes for casinos.
"It is outrageous that taxes are imposed on education while gaming facilities - casinos, betting houses, slot clubs and lotteries are granted preferences. We call on the government to reason their decision", - the students carrying banners in front of the parliament were saying. They had prepared and submitted their claims to the speaker, PM, finance and education ministers promising to pursue protest rallies.