Kuwait rejects plan to hike fuel prices for expats

Proposal was put forward by a group of eight independent MPs

(AFP/Getty Images)

(AFP/Getty Images)

Kuwait’s National Assembly has rejected a proposal to scrap petrol subsidies for expatriates in what is being hailed in the country as a landmark decision.

The proposal was put forward by a group of eight independent MPs who claim the government is wasting KWD6bn-KWD12bn (US$20.9bn-US$49.9bn) each year on providing subsidized services, including fuel, electricity and water, to all Kuwaiti residents.

They called for Kuwaiti nationals to receive the services free and expats to pay full price.

The MPs said raising the price of fuel and vehicle registration fees for expatriates would help reduce traffic problems.

But in a vote on Tuesday, all but the eight Independent MPs rejected the idea.

Leading Shi'ite MP Adnan Abdulsamad said the recommendation and related debate implied that expatriates were the only cause of traffic jams in the country.

“This is incorrect. Expatriates are a part of the problem and not the whole problem,” he was quoted as saying in Kuwait Times.

“We blame expatriates for many problems. Kuwaitis also have too many cars and we are also a part of the problem.

“We have overburdened expatriates with school fees, residence fees and health insurance fees. This way, expatriates will be forced to send their families back to their countries and Kuwait will become a land of bachelors.”

Kuwait has declared it will reduce the number of expatriates working in the country by 1m by 2023. Expats make up about two-thirds of the oil-rich nation’s population of about 3m.

The National Assembly also is considering several other proposals targeting expats, including barring them from seeking medical attention in the morning unless in an emergency. 

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on arabianbusiness.com may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: OKK

time to leave Kuwait I guess... if Expats leave, wonder who will pay the rents of all those buildings built by Kuwaities, and if these Kuwaities won't get rental payments, then how can they'll be affording this lavish life style...

As for Expat, start planning your exit.. time to leave

Posted by: jay

common senses at last
to fix the traffic proble start by fixing the parking problems
stop people reserving spaces for valet parking etc
get traffic wardens out to stop people parking 2 -3 deep on roads especially corners
ensure all building have to provide sufficient parking for its use
tow vehicles away that dont follow the rules
increase parking fines to 30KD
Then address the speeders emergency lane offenders by increasing fines points on licence disqualifcation stop people using mobile phones by insisting all cars fitted with bluetooth etc remove the licence of the bad drives will then be quickly taken off the road and you will see improvements
involve the expats we have solutions too
Having worked in this industry this if implemented will make huge diff to traffic flow

Posted by: loin

why did the the author of the article label the MP as a shite mp? istead of just a mp?

Posted by: Dokha

I found that odd as well....What's that got to do with anything??

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Everything you need to know about Qatar

Everything you need to know about Qatar

Former British protectorate has been ruled by the Al-Thani family...

The Al Thanis are Qatar's power family

The Al Thanis are Qatar's power family

New research sheds light on the overwhelming influence of the...

Raising the bar: DLA Piper plans fresh growth in the Gulf

Raising the bar: DLA Piper plans fresh growth in the Gulf

Legal firm DLA Piper’s Middle East business recorded 10 percent...

Most Discussed