Half the Saudi population receiving welfare in new system

2017-12-23 07:21
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Dubai - Saudi Arabia has paid $533m in the first monthly installment of a new welfare system for low and middle-income Saudi families that make up approximately half of the kingdom's population.

The payments come ahead of the introduction of a tax on most goods and services and subsidy cuts that will raise the price of electricity and gasoline in 2018.

Minister of Labour and Social Development Ali al-Ghafees told state-run Saudi Press Agency the payments began on Thursday, with bank transfers to approximately 3 million families reaching around 10.6 million beneficiaries.

He says half of those families received the maximum payment of 938 $250. The minimum payment is $80.

Around 20% of those who applied for the assistance did not qualify.

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