Reports suggest the Saudi Arabia’s 2017 budget will include a monthly fee for expat workers 

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Saudi Arabia’s 2017 budget will reportedly include a monthly fee for expat workers in the kingdom.

Arab News cited local reports as suggesting the fee would likely be a fixed amount of around SAR800 ($213) a month.

The publication said the fees were minimal and in no way comparable to taxes is Europe and the US.

However, there has been no confirmation from the government.

Documents released as part of the National Transformation Plan earlier this year showed the country was allocating SAR150m ($40m) to prepare income tax for foreign residents.

Although the country’s finance minister dismissed this as just a proposal at the time.

Saudi newspaper Al-Watan this week cited sources as saying the budget would also include increases to fuel and electricity prices.

The sources said fuel prices would increase by 40 per cent and electricity tariffs by around 20 per cent, according to the report.

Yesterday, Reuters reported that the government was expected to announce its budget deficit fell sharply in 2016 to SAR297bn ($79.2bn).

It said the reduced deficit, from the SAR326bn predicted by the government, would allow Riyadh to claim significant progress and could prompt momentum for further reforms.

The 2017 budget is expected to see spending of SAR890bn, 6 per cent higher than projected spending from 2016.

The budget is also expected to include a financial aid programme to compensate low- and middle-income Saudis hit by austerity policies.

Source: GulfBusiness

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