Saudi Sugars Wage-Freeze Pill

Saudi Arabia last week announced that public sector workers would have their wages frozen and bonuses canned for the Islamic year that began 2 October. This week it looked to sweeten the pill.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), the kingdom’s central bank, has asked local banks to reschedule consumer loans of public sector workers. This follows the 25 September decrees which also cut the salaries of ministers (and officials with ministerial rank) by 20% and those of consultative Shura Council members by 15% (MEES, 30 September).

The government has also decided to shift the basis for salary payments to the Western calendar rather from the Islamic Hijri calendar, which is 11 days shorter – in effect a further 3% pay cut. (CONTINUED - 286 WORDS)