Hurrah! Saudi King Salman Announce Special Allowance For His Countrymen

11 Saudi princes arrested for protesting utility bills at ruling palace – media

Saudi authorities have detained 11 members of the royal family who staged a rally at the palace in Riyadh to protest austerity measures forcing them to pay for their own utility bills, Saudi media reported on Saturday citing anonymous sources.

Sabq reports the princes were demanding financial compensation from a judgment involving one of their cousins and demanding the reversal of a decision to suspend payments for royals' water and electricity bills. "Despite being informed that their demands are not lawful, the 11 princes refused to leave the area, disrupting public peace and order".

Saudi Arabia will slow plans to eliminate subsidies for a wide range of energy products, according to a new long-term fiscal plan in the 2018 state budget. "Members of a security services stepped in to restore order and the princes were arrested", the public prosecutor's statement said, without identifying the princes.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Saturday declared a monthly payment of 1000 riyals ($267) to his countrymen in order to lessen the impact of rising cost of living after the sudden increase in domestic gas prices and introduced Value-Added Tax.

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Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has been overseeing anti-corruption, austerity and social reforms programs since late previous year, which included giving women the right to drive automobiles.

The economic overhaul has been linked to the arrest of more than 200 princes in an anti-corruption purge in November spearheaded by Prince Mohammed.

The Gulf kingdom has also intensified efforts to boost employment of its own citizens. As per the International Labour organisation, the percentage of jobless people in Saudi is 32% (15 to 24 aged people) and 1.18 million Saudis are engaged in government sector while 1.23 million people are pensioners.

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