30,000 expats to lose Kuwaiti government jobs

Lawmakers agree to reduce percentage of expats employed by the government
30,000 expats to lose Kuwaiti government jobs
Emirati men, Dubai, UAE nationals and expats. (Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)
By Courtney Trenwith
Tue 12 Mar 2013 10:35 AM

About 30,000 expatriates employed by the Kuwaiti government are expected to lose their jobs after parliament approved a new legislation capping the percentage of foreigners allowed in the public sector.

Lawmakers on Monday agreed to reduce the percentage of expats employed by the government from 28 percent to 20 percent, according to Kuwait Times.

Presently, 109,000 of the 386,000 government employees are expats. If the legislation is implemented immediately, that means 30,000 would be fired, the newspaper reported.

The MPs did not reveal when the change would come into force.

The legislation also requires the Civil Service Commission to employ Kuwaiti nationals within six months of receiving a job application or pay the salary expected from the requested job.

A proposal to raise government employees’ salaries also was approved, although it was not stipulated by how much or when the pay rise would be implemented, with the details to be determined by the financial and economic affairs committee.

Kuwaiti MPs recently have been attempting to crack down on the country’s expats – who make up almost two-thirds of the population.

In the past month, proposals have been put forward to charge expats higher fees for some medical services and to designate specific times that expats and nationals can seek medical care.

On Sunday a group of eight Independent MPs called for subsidies for electricity, water and fuel to be scrapped for expats. They want nationals to receive the services for free while expats pay the full cost, which could see monthly bills soar by as much as 18 times their present value.

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