Expats in Kuwait under pressure in run up to demographic debate

Published:  19 Apr at 6 PM
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According to reliable sources, the Kuwaiti parliament is preparing for a debate in the National Assembly over plans to tackle the emirate’s controversial demographic imbalance.

The debate, due to take place after this year’s Ramadan, is aimed at encouraging the government to take action over problems caused by Kuwait’s huge demographic imbalance. A push for immediate action on measures put forward to reduce the number of expats in the emirate will form part of the debate itself. A number of Kuwaiti lawmakers have been expressing their dissatisfaction with a timescale of 30 years suggested by the Minister of Social Affairs and MP Hind al Sabeeh.

Sources told the Kuwait Times the scheme would be based on a halt to the hiring of expats in advisory and consultancy positions within senior officials’ offices and various ministries. Unnecessary expat workers should be laid off, the total number of expat workers should be reduced by at least 30 per cent and expat administrators should be replaced with Kuwaiti nationals. Companies supplying expat workers at admin level will be banned from operating unless their workforce is 100 per cent Kuwaiti.

In addition, health insurance charges for tourists and other visitors as well as health service fee increases for resident expats are to be brought in as soon as is practicable, and private companies will be forced to provide healthcare for their employees. Once the emirate’s private hospitals are opened, expats will be banned from using public medical facilities in order to ensure faster treatment for Kuwaitis.

Meanwhile, British expats in the UAE may be more concerned about the snap election declared yesterday by Theresa May. Those wishing to make their views on the UK’s present political chaos have just seven weeks to register to vote, although there’s no guarantee that postal votes will get there, either in time or at all. If you’ve been on your local UK voting register for up to 15 years, you can register online from your current address. Printing a registration form, signing it and posting it is another, much less reliable way. The deadline for registration is expected to be around May 23, but checking for any changes is advisable.
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