Saudi ministers’ salaries slashed by 20 percent
SAUDI Arabia has cut the salaries of cabinet ministers by 20 percent and froze the wages of lower-ranking civil servants in an intensified austerity drive to cope with lower oil revenues.
While ministers will have lower salaries, the 160 members of the Shura Council will see a 15pc drop in their annual allowances for housing, furniture and cars, a royal decree said.
Council members – who include 30 women – are appointed by King Salman to advise the cabinet.
The decree did not say how much money would be saved.
Since 2014 global oil prices have collapsed by more than half, leaving Saudi Arabia with a record deficit last year.
The fall in the kingdom’s main source of revenue led to unprecedented subsidy cuts and curbs on government spending.
In April the king’s son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, announced the wide-ranging Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy. The effort also seeks a streamlined, more accountable administration.
The royal decrees ordered the government to “stop providing cars for senior state officials”. Telephone expenditure will also be curbed.
Vision 2030 aims to boost private sector employment, cutting the government payroll to 40pc of the budget from 45pc by 2020. –