Saudi royal handouts to cost about SR50 billion

07 Jan

A package of handouts to Saudi Arabian citizens to compensate them for cost of living increases will cost the government about SR50 billion ($13.3 billion) this year, the information minister was quoted as saying on Sunday.

"The allocation of SR50 billion for this decree indicates the leadership's concern for the people's comfort and quality of living," Minister of Culture and Information Awwad bin Saleh Alawwad told the Saudi-owned Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper.

On Saturday, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz ordered a monthly payment of SR1,000 to state employees over the year in compensation for the rising cost of living after Riyadh hiked gasoline prices and introduced value-added tax. Pensioners and soldiers will also be given bonuses, while the government will bear the cost of VAT in some situations, such as the first purchase of a home. Read More...

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