Kuwaitis have unleashed their anger on social media when Prime Minister Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah recently declared that the country‘s “welfare state is over.”
Sabah was also backed by the Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Rola Dashti when she said that “low fees paid for services and goods, with an almost complete absence of tax revenues will force Kuwait to face a deficit between 2021-2029.”
One Kuwaiti parliamentarian, Hussein al-Kuwayaan, told Al Arabiya that Sabah’s statement has “depressed” the Kuwaiti people.
“The prime minister needs to explain to the citizens how the welfare era is over,” Kuwayaan said.
The parliament member, who intends to grill the health minister for corruption and neglecting projects including cancelling tenders for four hospitals, said the government is not capable of providing Kuwaitis with basic needs.
The political activist Fahed al-Thanian told Al Arabiya that Kuwaitis have “lost faith” in their consecutive cabinets, especially that an economic surplus has disappeared on the backdrop of the lack of development in the country.
Thanian said the country suffers from epidemic corruption that is the subject of ”gossip” from both Kuwaitis and the government.
“Many oil producers stopped depending on their oil revenues, diversifying their internal and external investments, but Kuwait is the only country that has a nominal surplus exceeding dozens of billions for over 10 years,” he said.
“We didn’t see any investment projects, and all we hear about are losses and deficit, and the government has nothing to do but keep on nagging about the deficit and the debts and its inability to meet the needs of the citizens,” he lamented.
“The citizens are still waiting for raises in salary, housing, health services, quality education, that we’re only hearing about in fairy tales.”
One Kuwaiti named Kuwaiti Abdullah al-Otaibi asked on Twitter about his country’s surplus “which reached $400 billion in the past 23 years and where did it disappear?”
Another citizen called Reeham questioned “how would a country announce ending the state welfare while it is still donating billions to other countries.”
Kuwait had a $60.5 billion surplus in the first ten months of its fiscal year for 2013, thanks to robust oil revenues and lower-than-expected public spending, Reuters reported.