Lebanese protesters confront Hariri on tax increases
BEIRUT // Demonstrators pelted the Lebanese prime minister’s car with water bottles on Sunday as thousands descended on downtown Beirut to protest a broad tax hike they say is unfairly targeting the country’s working classes.
Saad Hariri got out of his armoured convoy behind the police line at the demonstration facing the government’s capital building but could get no closer as protesters began throwing water bottles and shouting “Thieves!”.
The Lebanese government is paralysed over a budget proposal that would hike over a dozen tax rates to fund a salary increase for teachers and civil servants.
Parliament approved some tax hikes on Wednesday.
Demonstrators in Beirut on Sunday said the government has squandered public money through shady public-private contracts and should plug the budget deficit by addressing corruption instead.
The Lebanese parliament has twice extended its own term over disagreements on how to hold elections. Polls are scheduled to take place in May, but senior politicians are yet to give the green light.
* Associated Press
Updated: March 19, 2017 04:00 AM