According to the Arab Times, the Kuwaiti government is showing a willingness to push forward fiscal reforms including subsidy cuts, due to the persisting low price of crude, and pressure over lacking support for the country’s currency.
IMF Mission Chief to Kuwait, Prasad Ananthakrishnan, told reporters that the authorities will move gradually to ensure that those who deserve subsidies are not affected. Fuel subsidies may be cut first requiring no legal changes, unlike electricity and water subsidies that may be introduced later, according to the IMF Mission Chief.
Trade Arabia cited Kuwait’s Finance Minister, Anas Al-Saleh saying that the Kuwaiti government pondered an increase in fees for its services in light of attempts to rationalize spending, review subsidies, and diversify sources of revenue.
Ananthakrishnan explained that the Kuwaiti currency peg had been able to ride the ongoing storm as it was tied to a basket of currencies including the US dollar. However, as fiscal problems are mounting due to declining oil revenues, savings have to be made to prop up the currency.
Kuwait’s 2015 budget, beginning on April 1st, projected a $27b deficit due to a 10 % transfer of revenues to the Future Generations Fund.