Wednesday, March 26, 2008

BD50, Who Gets It and Why?

I wonder how the Bahraini government determines who is eligible to receive the BD 50/- a month for a year. (It is for a year right and not a measly one-time deal?) How does the government know who is needy or isn’t?

Here in the US, I received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service informing me that in May I will receive a one-time check for $600.00 if I filed a single tax return or $1,200 if I filed a joint tax return. The mailing also stated that you are still eligible to receive the amount if you din’t pay any taxes but have an earned income of $3,000, or something like that. This comes as a part of tax relief plan.

The US disbursements are clear, clearer than the Bahraini ones; the criteria for eligibility are stated and you know how the US government determined if a person should get relief or not. It determines a person’s needs, accurately or inaccurately, based on the individual’s tax returns.

When I received the mailing, I felt happy, then disgruntled and now somewhat puzzled. Happy because I am getting money, from the government no less! Disgruntled because instead of disbursing funds as a relief, the government could’ve just not collected as much taxes from me (yeah right! I know it’s a far fetched thought). Puzzled, because it got me thinking about Bahrain and the BD50/-. How is the Bahraini government determining who is eligible for the funds.

I quickly grew wary (I guess it’s the economist in me, or the libertarian thought that dominates the economic department of my college), how does the Bahraini government know who is eligible and who isn’t? Does the government keep tabs on its citizens’ earnings? The answer may not be as puzzling really, it can determine what an individual makes based on the amount that gets deducted for retirement etc. But what about the self-employed, most of whom do not make a bunch of money. The women that drive children to schools and such, it would be ridiculous to assume that they are putting any funds into retirement. How is their eligibility determined?

With the different questions popping in my mind, a final one leaves me worried, however flawed the means of determining eligibility, the government has a plan in place to do that, right? Or does it just pick names from a hat, or a favorable list???


ammaro said...

remember that this whole "idea" of a donation was put together by people who haven't got the slightest clue of how an economy works, and with their solution to inflation comes an answer totally dependant on having a clear cut CURRENT record of everyone in bahrain, their salary, whether theyre married or not, etc.

which they dont have, and so this isnt going to work, at ALL. you know how screwed up the record system is here?

Gardens of Sand said...

Now that I think about it I dunno what is scarier, the government keeping tabs of you and knowing exactly how much you make, whether you are married etc or the economic and business minds (lack their off) of our esteemed elected officials and what nots.

SoulSearch said...

Sweetie, as screwed up as this whole situation is, it can't get any worse...In the first list, 2 of our esteemed MPs were listed, the next day, dead people's names were on that list, the third day, no one eligible received any payments, need I go on...Its a sad sad situation...

ammaro said...

they can keep my 50 dinars for all i care!

Gardens of Sand said...

SS, it is even worse that I imagined! 2 MPs made the list!! I bet they're getting the money too. God, just when you think it can't get worse, it does!

Ammaro, lol that's my thought too, but what scary is that there are so many needy folks who'd never receive the money.