Saudi cuts ministers’ salaries by 20 per cent

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Monday cut cabinet ministers’ salaries by 20 percent and reduced other state officials’ benefits in a continuing austerity drive to cope with lower oil revenues. The 160 members of the Shura Council, who include 30 women, will see a 15 percent drop in their annual allowances for housing, furniture and cars, a royal decree said.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman

Council members are appointed by the king to advise cabinet. The decrees which announced the measures did not say how much money would be saved. Since 2014 global oil prices have collapsed by more than half, leaving Saudi Arabia with a record deficit last year.

The fall in the kingdom’s main revenue source led to unprecedented subsidy cuts and curbs on government spending. In April this year the king’s son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, announced the wide-ranging Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy.

The effort also seeks a streamlined, more accountable administration. Monday’s decrees ordered the government to “stop providing cars for senior state officials”. Telephone expenditure will also be curbed. But front-line soldiers on the southern border with Yemen will be exempt from a ruling not to grant the military an annual bonus.

AFP

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