Saudi King Salman has ordered the kingdom to continue paying a ‘cost of living allowance’ to state employees, military personnel, retirees and students for another fiscal year, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.
The kingdom began handing out the monthly allowance in January 2018 to compensate citizens for the rising cost of living after the government hiked domestic gas prices and introduced value-added tax (VAT).
According to a royal order, civil servants and soldiers will continue to receive a monthly allowance of SR1,000. Monthly allowance of SR500 will also continue for pensioners and social security recipients. Student benefits will increase by 10%.
In January, it was estimated that the allowance will cost the government about SAR50bn ($13.3bn) this year.
“The allocation of SAR50bn 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 at the time.
Source Credit: Saudi Gazette