AndVivian Nerim, the author, said In the report, Saudi officials have begun to reduce the number of beneficiaries of the “citizen account” program since last April, and they suspended recent applications with a standard limit for payments, as well as making some adjustments to the eligibility requirements.
According to the author, the number of beneficiaries declined at a rapid pace, after excluding nearly 1.3 million people during the current July alone from this financial assistance.
Fewer Saudis enjoy monthly benefits from the government aid program known as the “citizen account”, in light of the changes that occurred in the program during last April, and the Saudis are suffering from the repercussions of the crisis in conjunction with the officials ’decision to take new austerity measures that include raising the percentage of Taxes.
The writer said that this distress is a test of the extent of support enjoyed by the vision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which is likely to harm the citizen’s consumption capacity in light of the downturn in the economy and many Saudis incurred higher costs in exchange for less income.
The International Monetary Fund predicts that the kingdom’s GDP will shrink by 6.8% in 2020.
The writer stated that the “Citizen Account” program was created to face the pressures of subsidy cuts and the new value-added tax on Saudis, at a time when monthly subsidies were provided to more than 12 million people from low and middle income families.
Faced with low oil revenues, the Bloomberg report says, officials have tripled value-added tax, increased import duties, and abolished cost-of-living allowances for government employees.
The author quoted what was reported by the government agency that runs the “citizen account” program, that “there are some individuals registered as people who live independently and do not meet the criteria for receiving support, because they live with their families.”
“The eligibility requirements have not changed, but some regulations have been approved prior to the Corona virus crisis, with the aim of targeting support to groups that deserve more.”
According to the Bloomberg report, beneficiaries were asked to show a lease or title to prove that they live independently, which excluded 1.3 million people in countries where adults reside with their families and often even into marriage.
The writer indicated that the program’s Twitter page is filled with complaints about stalled payments or questions about when to re-open registration for the program.