Saudi Arabia will cut ministers' salaries by 20 percent and scale back financial perks for public sector employees in one of the most drastic measures yet by the energy-rich kingdom to save money at a time of low oil prices.
The measures, disclosed in a cabinet statement and royal decree broadcast on state-run Ekhbariya TV on Monday, constitute the first pay cuts for government employees, who make up about two-thirds of working Saudis.
"The cabinet has decided to stop and cancel some bonuses and financial benefits," read a line of text on Ekhbariya, as a minister read to assembled ministers and royals, including King Salman, a list of cuts in various grades in the civil service.
The plunge in oil prices since mid-2014 has pushed energy-rich Gulf Arab states to rein in lavish public spending.
Saudi Arabia racked up a record budget deficit of nearly $100 billion last year, forcing it to find new savings and ways to raise money.