UAE Plans 3% Spending Cut For 2017

The UAE cabinet has approved a federal budget of Dh48.7bn ($13.3bn at a fixed $1=Dh3.673) for 2017, which is part of a five-year budget of Dh 248bn ($67.5bn) for 2017-21, the Emirates News Agency WAM said on 30 October.

The 2017 budget in nominal terms is virtually unchanged from the Dh48.6bn ($13.2bn) 2016 budget. But with inflation projected by the IMF at 3.1%, the 2017 budget effectively represents around 3% cut in real terms. With oil prices hovering around the $50/B mark, the UAE is opting for caution with regard to its spending plans in the medium-term.

The 2017-21 federal budget is an “indicative spending plan,” which sets out broad targets and allows for the implementation of medium-term policies, particularly with regard to improving social services and upgrading the government’s smart services. WAM says that the UAE was the first Arab country to introduce planning over a five-year period with the aim of fulfilling the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021. Previously the UAE had issued a three-year budget for 2014-16, also intended as a planning tool to implement longer term policies (MEES, 17 October 2014). (CONTINUED - 942 WORDS)