World Top News
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will cut ministers’ salaries by 20 percent and scale back financial perks for public sector
employees in one of the most drastic measures yet by the energy-rich kingdom to save money at a time of low
oil prices (world top news).
The measures, disclosed in a cabinet statement and royal decree broadcast on state-run Ekhbariya TV on
Monday, constitute the first pay cuts for government employees, who make up about two-thirds of working Saudis.
Furthermore, the cabinet has decided to stop and cancel some bonuses and financial benefits, read a line of text on
Ekhbariya, as a minister read to assembled ministers and royals, including King Salman, a list of cuts in
various grades in the civil service.
The plunge in oil prices since mid-2014 has pushed energy-rich Gulf Arab states to rein in lavish public spending.
Saudi Arabia racked up a record budget deficit of nearly $100 billion last year, forcing it to find new savings
and ways to raise money.
Moreover, a royal decree read directly after the broadcast on the TV channel announced the cut in ministers’ pay.
Housing and car allowances for members of the appointed Shoura Council will be cut by 15 percent.
Overtime bonuses were curbed at between 25 and 50 percent of basic salaries, while annual leave may no
longer exceed 30 days.
Also, an exception will be made for troops involved in combat along the southern border and abroad as part of
an 18-month military intervention led by Saudi Arabia in neighboring Yemen.