King Salman’s Social Package: A Likely Economic Stimulant

Riyadh has granted an off-budget social package to various sectors of society, aimed at stimulating the economy. But with future oil revenues hit by the slump in oil prices, this could further strain the kingdom’s already delicate fiscal position.

Following his accession to the throne, King Salman on 29 January issued a raft of royal decrees aimed at swiftly consolidating his hold on government and ensuring a smooth transfer from the late King ‘Abd Allah.

Among these decrees, a bonus of two months of additional basic salaries or similar rewards are to be made to a wide range of state and military employees, retired government and private sector workers, students and social security beneficiaries. Financial grants were also given to professional associations, sports and literary clubs, and housing complexes across the kingdom for a total of SR20bn ($5.3bn), of which SR14bn ($3.7bn) will be spent on improving electricity and water services. (CONTINUED - 1015 WORDS)