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Saudis reinstate public sector perks after 7-month cutback

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has issued a decree reinstating public sector perks after a drop in oil prices forced the kingdom to curb big-ticket spending and implement sensitive austerity measures.

The decree, issued late Saturday, states that King Salman is “keen to provide comfort to Saudi citizens” and has reinstated all allowances, privileges and financial premiums given to civil and military officials. He also authorized security personnel involved in the kingdom’s Yemen war to receive an additional two months’ salary.

Just seven months ago, the Saudi monarch had slashed the salaries of ministers and suspended public sector bonuses. The move sparked criticism by Saudis frustrated with what they see as already low wages.

Nearly half of the government’s spending in 2015 went to wages, salaries and allowances.

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