Saudi Arabia Will Give Cash to Poorer Citizens Hit by Austerity

14 Dec 2017   Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia will begin cash transfers to low- and middle-income citizens this month, part of efforts to cushion the blow for families as the kingdom overhauls its oil-dependent economy. Monthly cash payments will start on Dec. 21 to compensate Saudis affected by measures including subsidy cuts and new taxes, officials said Tuesday. The cabinet approved the so-called Citizen’s Account program, which will be reviewed quarterly, at the same time it ratified changes to the prices of fuel and electricity, planned for the first quarter next year. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is leading the push to reduce Saudi Arabia’s addiction to oil, but many of the reforms he’s implemented have hit the wallets of Saudis. The Citizen’s Account is designed to offset those measures with extra cash for those who need it most. A smooth roll-out is key in a country where the social contract has been built on […]

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