Paychecks constitute 22 pc of total expenditure
KUWAIT CITY, July 4: A report prepared by the technical team of the parliament’s Budgets and Final Accounts Committee has revealed an expenditure increase of KD 3,343,767,305 from the government’s budget allocated for the fiscal year of 2017/2018 compared to the final accounts for the fiscal year of 2015/2016, reports Al-Rai daily.
The report, which was prepared based on the request of the committee’s rapporteur MP Riyadh Al-Adsani, indicated that the total amount spent on salaries in the government sector, and contracts of the petroleum national company, subsidiaries and independent bodies for the current fiscal year 2017/2018 was KD 10,247,983,864, which is an increase of KD 1,693,367,569 (equivalent to almost $5 billion) compared to the 2015/2016 fiscal year.
According to the report, these figures mean the salaries in the government sector and affiliated sectors have increased by almost KD1.5 billion. This does not take into account the pensions for retirees provided by the Public Institution of Social Security, the national manpower financial aid given by Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, and the students’ financial aid. The report concluded by revealing that salaries constitute 22 percent of the total government expenditure with an increase of about 2 percent compared to the last fiscal year.
The estimated expenditure of the oil sector from the current budget has increased to KD 850 million compared to actual expenditure of the same kind in the last fiscal year. In his statement, MP Al-Adsani indicated that the economy index of the country and the financial data in the hands of the oversight bodies affirm that “there are huge financial deviations in the data of the financial analyses of the government sector. These are not in line with the budgetary principles and the country’s economic situation, especially amid the current low oil prices”.
He highlighted the fact that it has become necessary to strive towards increasing public revenues especially with the huge expenditure in provision of salaries. He added that matter should not be temporarily resolved, for instance by cutting subsidies and increasing charges of services which end up hurting families’ incomes especially of those with low income earners. Al-Adsani stressed, “It is time to prepare a realistic applicable plan, which should be followed by a serious and futuristic perspective without squeezing the pockets of the people of Kuwait or increasing the charges of services offered to them. There should also be cooperation among various government bodies as well as coordination with Ministry of Finance in terms of spending”. He indicated that, “Nonadherence to the budget’s constriction has hampered with several issues due to deficit in some budget items, misappropriation of funds and other violations in this regard.”