A call to exempt the elderly from all taxes, especially the value added tax (VAT), went out from a Shura Council member yesterday.

Dr Hani Al Saati, a Bahraini surgeon, said there were around 80,000 Bahrainis aged 60 and above, and a VAT exemption for them wouldn’t cost much for the government.

Shura Council members yesterday unanimously voted in favour of amendments to the 2009 Elderly Rights Law.

“The elderly deserve more than just discounts or exemptions to fees, it should stretch to tax exemptions, mainly VAT,” said Dr Al Saati.

“The government should appreciate and value the senior citizens for all their dedication, hard work and contributions over the years.”

Council Chairman Ali Saleh Al Saleh agreed that the elderly deserve more benefits but asked members to currently focus on the legislation at hand.

“We will continue working towards improving pensioners’ living standards, and review the affordability of services given to them,” he said.

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