Dozens of Tunisian lawyers protested on Thursday against newly imposed taxes on legal services, part of a 2023 budget that seeks to boost revenues to the cash-strapped treasury.
Led by Bar Group chairman Hatem Mziou, attorneys gathered outside the Palais de Justice in Tunis as well as other venues, after the association called for a "day of rage".
The budget, which was announced last week, includes extra taxes to reduce the North African country's deficit to roughly 5% of GDP as it awaits an international bailout.
Among the proposals is an increase in legal fee taxes from 13 to 19 per cent.
According to the Bar Association, its 9,200 members will be liable for the new, higher rate only when it is paid – along with their fees – by their clients.
It has also been said that the charge will disproportionately affect those from low-income families who need legal services.
Mziou said in a speech that the new law “will help make citizens even poorer”.
He also said Tunisian lawyers “will not stay idle in the face of attacks on rights and liberties”.
He cited a controversial September decree by President Kais Saied which provides for jail terms against people found guilty of spreading false rumours “in order to undermine public security”.
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