Tunisia urged to trim wage bill and reform tax system

he IMF has urged Tunisia to take action on tax reform and its public sector wage bill to help bring the country’s finances under control.

A team from the Washington-based lender met with Tunisian authorities to discuss the country’s recent economic developments under the reform programme supported by the four-year IMF extended fund facility (EFF).

“Better managing the public-sector wage bill, which is among the highest in the world and absorbs half of total expenditure, will be indispensable,” said Bjoern Rother, the leader of the IMF’s team, who acknowledged the reform ambitions of the Tunisian government as set out in its 2018 budget bill.

“The budget bill would focus on reducing the deficit through comprehensive tax reform and rationalising inefficient expenditure. It would also dedicate more resources in support of SMEs,” he said.

The North African country committed to making economic reforms under the terms to obtain the IMF EFF last year, a US$2.9 billion concessional loan provided to help overcome structural weaknesses.

The National 

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