Saudi Arabia announced it’s biggest ever budget , in a move aimed at boosting the economy, whereas education is set to overtake it as the budget’s biggest item.
In a briefing at Riyadh, Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that, government spending is projected to rise to $295 billion next year.
He said that the budget estimates a 9 percent annual increase in revenues to SR 975 billion. The budget deficit is forecast at SR 131 billion for next year, a 4.2 percent decline on 2018.
By royal decree, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul-aziz ordered the continuation of allowances covering cost of living, which is 1,000 riyals monthly to citizens who are civil employees, and military personnel.
Pensioners who are beneficiaries of the General Organization for Social Insurance will receive 500 riyals monthly, as well as the continued increase of the monthly allowance of male and female students by ten percent.
This idea was presented to King Salman by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The project is initiated with spending set to increase by around 7 percent — in a move aimed at boosting the economy, while also reducing the deficit.
In a press statement following the announcement of the state budget for the fiscal year 2019, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has affirmed that the economic and structural reforms in the national economy are progressing toward achieving the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030 aimed at diversifying the economy and achieving stability, economic and financial sustainability, as well as stimulating the private sector and improving the living standards of citizens.
He explained that financial stability is a fundamental pillar of economic progress and growth, and that reforms and economic initiatives implemented over the past two years have directly contributed to reducing the budget deficit rates in 2016, 2017 and 2018 by (12.8%), (9.3%) and 4.6%) respectively with annual spending increasing.
He further stressed the effectiveness of these reforms and initiatives through their clear impact on raising the indicators of growth of the national economy during the last period.
Muhammad Bin Salman further added that social spending represents about 42% of the total expenditure in the budget and stressed the importance of developing and modernizing the infrastructure and government services, noting the efforts of raising the efficiency of financial management.