Saudi Arabia pays $533mn to half the population in new welfare system

Saudi Arabia has paid 2 billion riyals ($533 million) in the first monthly installment of a new welfare system for low and middle-income Saudi families. They make up approximately half of the kingdom’s population. The payments come ahead of the introduction of a tax on most goods and services, and subsidy cuts that will raise the price of electricity and gasoline next year. Bank transfers will be sent to approximately three million families reaching around 10.6 million beneficiaries, AP said. Half of those families received the maximum payment of 938 riyals ($250), while the minimum payment is 300 riyals ($80), according to Minister of Labor and Social Development Ali bin Nasser al-Ghafis.

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