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Yearbook 2016

Kuwait. Falling oil prices caused a budget deficit to arise after 16 years of surplus. The deficit amounted to $ 15 billion in the fiscal year ending last March and was heading for double the following fiscal year. Oil revenues were estimated to fall to one third compared to two years earlier.

2016 Kuwait

According to countryaah, the government responded with plans to abolish subsidies, raise taxes and sell state corporations. When the government announced at short notice that fuel subsidies would be withdrawn, critical voices were raised in Parliament, which would otherwise be considered essentially government-friendly. Among other things, gasoline prices rose on September 1 by between 40 and 80%.

The growing criticism was believed to be a contributing reason for the emir's dissolution in October one year in advance, although he did so with a vague reference to the "security situation". Parts of the opposition chose to continue the boycott that began in 2012, while others, not least Islamists, decided to participate. In the elections, the opposition went strong and won nearly half of the 50 seats, which was seen as an expression of dissatisfaction with the austerity measures. Despite this, the Emir gave the Prime Minister the task of re-forming a government and all ministers belonging to the royal family were allowed to remain.

In May, in an unusual case, a sibling was sentenced to the emir and two other members of the royal family to five years in prison for offending the emir.

A law was passed which meant that, for the first time, the country's approximately 600,000 domestic workers were entitled to a minimum wage as well as the right to twelve hours of working day and 30 days off per year. Kuwait became the first country in the region to provide some employment protection to the domestic workers, who were mostly Asian migrant workers.

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