Swire’s new job just got harder

One of Hugo Swire’s new jobs in Parliament is to assist with arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Looks like he might have backed a bit of a loser. Imagine if Minister’s salaries had been cut by 20% when we had austerity measures!

Saudi Arabia announced several fiscal consolidation measures on Tuesday in an effort to help reduce the kingdom’s record budget deficit as it contends with lower-for-longer oil prices and costly regional conflicts.

Chief among them, according to Bloomberg:

Ministers’ salaries will be shaved down by 20%.

Salaries of the members of the Shura Council, which advises the monarchy, will be cut by 15%.

And bonus payments will be canceled for state employees.

Notably, Saudi stocks fell the most in the world for two days in a row after the announcement, tumbling by nearly 6%.The Tadawul All Share (TASI) is down by 3.4% at 5,534.43 as of 11:44 a.m. ET.

“It’s one more economic measure to balance spending. Of course people don’t like it, but it’s a sign of the times,” Saudi analyst and editor of Al Arab News Jamal Khashoggi told Reuters after the kingdom’s announcement.

“Probably the teachers and many others will be affected by it. It shows why it’s important for the private sector and Saudi GDP to diversify.”

Source: Business Insider