Saudi Arabia approves the Citizen’s Account policy

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The Saudi council of ministers has today approved details of the Citizen’s Account (CA) policy and confirmed the first payment will be made to eligible Saudi households on December 21, 2017.

The Citizen’s Account is a national cash transfer program that was first announced by the Government in December 2016 and opened for registrations in February 2017.

It aims to increase the efficiency of government benefits distribution by targeting the less fortunate in society.

Therefore, it eases the direct and indirect impact on low and medium income households resulting from the ongoing economic reforms such as the gasoline price adjustment, the electricity tariffs adjustment, and the value added tax (VAT) on all food and beverage items.

It will also encourage sensible consumption of the aforementioned products.

Today’s announcement provides detailed guidance on the eligibility conditions to receive the CA payment and its calculation.

The criteria specify that the beneficiaries have to be citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (with the exception of the son or daughter of a citizen and non-Saudi spouses) and permanently residing in the country.

The entitlement amount for eligible Saudi households will differ depending on three main factors: the total income of the household, number of dependents in that household and their age.

The amount will be reviewed on a quarterly basis to ensure appropriate and adequate support for eligible Saudi households.
The CA amount will not affect any current Government support payments received by the households.

An official source stated earlier that the Saudi government will announce the launch of a cash-transfer program for its citizens on Tuesday. This is meant to help low and middle-income families cope with the costs of economic reform.

The government had announced last December that they are planning to put this program into effect as changes in reforms including raising fuel prices, wage changes and public sector allowances have effected the income of a lot of families.

More reforms are expected to take place with the government aiming to strengthen its financial conditions in light of low oil prices.

In a statement issued in December, the government confirmed that it will provide cash amounts to its citizens, and that the first payments will be given before the next surge in energy prices.

These payments will differ depending on the size and income of each family. For example, the government estimated that a family of six with an income of about $2,320 (8,699 SR) would primarily receive monthly aid of 1,200 SR.

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