New Kuwait agenda to include public sector wage cuts

Plans to cut government oil worker benefits resulted in a three-day strike earlier this year



A new government agenda for Kuwait’s next parliamentary term will reportedly include an attempt to reduce government sector wages.

Kuwait Times reports that the government will be seeking approval for a “strategic payroll alternative” when the new parliament is elected later this month.

It will seek to equalise salaries between civil service sector employees holding similar degrees, including those working in the oil sector.

The plans will likely prove controversial after an attempt to cut perks and benefits at state-owned oil companies resulted in a three-day strike by employees earlier this year.

The April 17 to 20 strike reduced the country’s oil production by up to 60 per cent and cost it $200m, according to some estimates.

Read: Kuwait lost up to $200m during oil strike

Other austerity measures have also been met with opposition.

A dispute between the government and parliament over fuel price increases resulted in the latter being dissolved in October.

Read: Kuwait to hold parliamentary elections next month

Kuwait is expected to issue up to KD3bn ($10bn) in international debt in the coming months to plug a fiscal deficit for the year ending March 31, 2017, estimated at KD9.5bn.