Kuwait considers scrapping expat fuel subsidy and reducing electricity subsidy

Published:  17 Apr at 6 PM
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Expats in Kuwait could find their petrol and electricity bills soaring if the Kuwait parliament agreed a proposal to scrap the expat fuel subsidy and cut the subsidy on electricity charges.

According to a recent report, the Kuwaiti parliament is prioritising the controversial proposal for debate, amid rumours that a black market would be created should the proposal become law. Local media report that MP Faisal al Shaye, head of the emirate's finance committee, supports the proposal, saying the the subsidies are depleting government finances.

Whilst some Kuwaiti MPs are calling for a careful analysis of the proposal’s finer points, others are insisting that removing the subsidies will save the country several hundred million dollars a year. Also, they claim, traffic congestion would be reduced as a result.

Should the subsidies be scrapped, expats will face a huge increase in their power bills from around $88 per annum to over $1900. In addition, as many expats’ electricity charges are included in their monthly rents, the introduction of the new law would mean changes to rental contracts as well as the inconvenience of having a meter installed.

Self-drive commuters would also be hit by considerable increases in their fuel bills, with the annual average now at $711 rising to a massive $2133. The changes, if passed, would possibly also result in the attempted renegotiation of expat packages at a time when employers are already cutting back.
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