Saudi Arabia announces austerity measures

•Slashes ministers’ salaries, cuts public sector bonuses

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman ordered on Monday cut in salaries of ministers by 20 per cent and of Shoura Council members by 15 per cent in a series of Royal Decrees.

Apart from ministers’ salaries cut by 20 per cent, there will also be scale back financial perks for public sector employees, according to a Cabinet statement and royal decree.

The decree also includes a 15 per cent reduction in benefits toward a car and housing for Shoura members.

There will be 15 per cent cut in the lump sum amount spent on Shoura members, including the price of vehicles, expenses for drivers, maintenance and fuel during their four-year term, Saudi Gazette reported.

Another other Royal Decree scaled back financial perks for public sector employees.

The King also ordered stopping provision of vehicles for senior officials until the end of 1438 Hijra. Ministers and those in similar ranks shall pay the amount exceeding SR1,000 toward their monthly landline and mobile phone bills.

However, another decree gave exemption for troops involved in combat operations along the southern border and those involved in security, military and intelligence operations outside the Kingdom from a moratorium on annual increment for the Hijri year 1438.

The Cabinet, chaired by King Salman at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Monday, decided not to give any annual increment for the year 1438H. There will also be no financial increase while renewing contracts or extending their period as well as in re-hiring staff.