Kuwait Subsidies Row Hampers Efforts To Cut Record Deficit

Kuwait’s attempts to join its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in slashing spending on fuel subsidies are running into fresh trouble. A reversal of the 1 September increase in gasoline prices would set back efforts to trim what is on track to be Kuwait’s largest ever budget deficit in the 2016-17 financial year. Based on a conservative $35/B oil price the country is set to chalk up a KD9.7bn ($32bn) deficit: even using a more realistic $41/B gives $22.7bn, also a record.

Many MPs had called for the gasoline price hike to be canceled and they grew more vocal following its implementation. On 18 September, MP Faisal al-Kandari announced that unless the subsidy cut is reversed, he will file a request to question (“grill”) Finance Minister and acting Oil Minister Anas al-Salih on the opening day of the National Assembly’s next term in late October. (CONTINUED - 1079 WORDS)

DATA INSIDE THIS ARTICLE

table Kuwait’S Revenue And Spending* (Kd Bn)
table GCC Gasoline Prices ($/L, 95 Ron)