A state of popular discontent prevails in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over a series of government decisions approved by the House of Saud, which the Minister of Finance described as “painful” to face the repercussions of the Coronavirus crisis and the collapse of public oil prices.
In a series of tweets, social media users expressed their anger at the new government decisions and existing policies in the Kingdom.
Under the pretext of “saving the country’s budget from deficit,” Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan announced a new package of measures to save the country’s budget from deficit, including increasing the value-added tax and stop the exchange of the high cost of living.
Al-Jadaan said that the new measures aim to save about thirty billion dollars.
And the official news agency (SPA) stated that “it was decided to stop the cost of living allowance starting from next June, as well as raising the value-added tax rate from 5% to 15% starting from the first of July 2020.”
Following the decisions of Al-Jadaan, Saudi activists in Saudi Arabia published a video clip from an interview with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman conducted in 2016 during the launch of “Vision 2030” in which he says that by 2020 Saudi Arabia will be able to live without oil.
The Saudi Minister of Finance justified the previous decisions, saying that “the measures that were taken today are necessary to maintain financial and economic stability from a comprehensive perspective and in the medium and long term… and bypass the unprecedented global Coronavirus pandemic crisis and its financial and economic repercussions with minimal damage Possible.”