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Caretakers struggling to balance budget
KUWAIT CITY, July 16: Well informed government sources said there is no government tendency at the present time to increase the cost of living allowance in light of the resignation of the government and the dissolution of the National Assembly, especially that the state’s general budget is laden with many burdens, especially the fifth chapter devoted to salaries, and that the urgent caretaker government is working hard to take effective measures to address the imbalances of the general budget, and implement a package of programs aimed at reducing expenditures, by rationalizing spending and stopping spending outside the budgeted items, reports Annahar daily.
Sources indicated talking about raising the cost of living allowance, which is currently estimated between 120 dinars and 220 or 250 dinars, is unrealistic, especially since the total annual cost is estimated at 520 million dinars, stressing that any increase in the premium will cost the state’s general budget an amount similar to that and this will put a burden on the treasury especially since the current increase in oil prices is dependent on the geopolitical events that the world is currently going through with the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.
Sources said that the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee had previously approved the proposal to reconsider the allowance for the cost of living allowance, and increase it by 100 percent, to 240 dinars instead of 120. However, the government did not take any action in this regard.
The sources explained that raising the cost of living is not currently a priority for the government, as it is working within the framework of 3 main tracks – are reducing budget waste for unnecessary items, repricing services and goods provided to the investment and commercial sector, in addition to re-pricing state owned lands, and collecting State dues. It is worth noting that the general budget has suffered for many years from the crisis of almost total dependence on oil revenues as a major source of budget revenues to the extent that in one year its percentage reached 94 urging the government to take serious steps to reduce dependence on oil revenues as much as possible by increasing non-oil revenues and rationalizing government subsidies.