“Zhamanak” has serious misgivings about the Armenian government’s plans to introduce a new fixed tax that will finance benefits to be paid to the families of soldiers killed or maimed in action. The paper says that instead of raising additional funds for the army from corrupt officials and oligarchs evading taxes, the authorities are trying to place a new financial burden on ordinary Armenians.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that a sharp increase in the amount of such military benefits is long overdue. “There is no question about that,” writes the paper. “But the authorities are not behaving quite honestly. By seeking to levy 1,000 drams ($2.1) from every worker, they probably think that hardly anyone in Armenia will protest against that.” It believes that a fixed tax sought by the government is inherently unfair given the huge income disparity in Armenia.
“Getting into the pocket of ordinary citizens seems to be becoming a tradition in our country,” “Hraparak” comments on the same subject. The paper draws parallels between the new duty planned by the government and street cameras that were installed across the country in recent years to enforce fines for traffic violations. “Nobody is asking the citizens whether they agree with the policy of our state, the huge size of the state apparatus and police,” it says. “Many will refrain from criticizing this bill. The issue is delicate and there is fertile ground for demagoguery. But some are not afraid of speaking out.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes a parliament deputy from the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), Lyova Khachatrian, as saying that the date of the BHK’s next pre-election congress depends on whether or not the party’s founder, Gagik Tsarukian, will return to politics. Tsarukian did not rule out such a possibility late last month. Khachatrian says that his final decision depends on the government’s opinion.