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Tue 1 Nov 2016 12:20 PM

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Kuwait could 'end subsidies by 2020', says report

Finance ministry denied plans in official tweet despite report from one of its committees

Kuwait could 'end subsidies by 2020', says report
(Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images)

Due to low oil prices and the need to balance its budget, Kuwait will gradually cut all public subsidies and completely halt them by 2020, a report by a committee set up through the finance ministry to review all social aid has claimed.

However, the finance ministry denied plans to end subsidies in a tweet late yesterday, reported Al-Qabas newspaper.

Public aid makes up about five percent of Kuwait’s projected spending and is estimated to total over $3b in 2016. The state has recently lifted subsidies on diesel and kerosene which are being charged in line with the international oil price.

In September, the government partially lifted subsidies on petrol in a move that caused public dissent and led to the dissolution of the parliament. It hiked fuel prices from between 40 to 80 percent as part of reform measures designed to plug a budget deficit.

It had also secured the backing of parliament beforehand to raise electricity and water prices for expats in the country.

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