Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development has denied social media reports that it has increased a dependents fee for expats introduced this year.
The fee, which took effect on July 1, requires expatriates to pay SAR100 ($26.66) per month for each of their dependents at visa renewal.
The ministry said that any amendments to the kingdom’s “financial balance” programme would be announced before the 2018 budget later this year.
Labour minister Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan said the kingdom had pushed back its goal to eliminate its budget deficit from 2020 to 2023 amid concerns that the pace of change is damaging the economy’s growth rate.
He said “performance indicators for 2018” are expected to be more positive.
The Ministry of Finance called on media outlets to follow official channels for fiscal updates.
The dependents fee is widely expected to double to SAR200 ($53.32) a month from July next year. It will then increase to SAR300 ($79.98) in 2019 and SAR400 ($106.64) in 2020.