Saudi Vision Dims With Benefits Climbdown

Saudi has axed benefits cuts imposed just six months ago. The measures unsurprisingly proved unpopular, but an inability to persevere with relatively minor cuts doesn’t bode well for the deeper ones necessary under Vision 2030.

Saudi Arabia has backtracked on cuts to public sector perks made six months ago. It has now reinstated “all the financial allowances, benefits and bonuses to civil servants and military personnel” from May after better-than-expected budget figures.

In several royal decrees issued on 22 April King Salman of Saudi Arabia announced his decision to reverse the September 2016 austerity measures which cut out state benefits to the public sector in a bid to streamline the budget deficit ( MEES, 30 September 2016 ).

The September measures came into effect 1 October 2016 and included a 20% cut in the salaries of ministers and officials with ministerial ranks, and a 15% pay cut for members of the consultative Shura Council as well as a 15% cut to their housing and transport allowances. For other public sector workers pay was frozen, overtime bonuses reduced and annual leave restricted to 30 days. (CONTINUED - 1066 WORDS)