Saudi Arabia budget deficit swells on oil price fall

Saudi Arabia’s budget deficit soared to $98bn (£65.7bn) this year as the world’s biggest oil exporter counted the cost of falling crude prices.

In the first budget under King Salman, the kingdom said revenues reached 608bn riyals (£108.7bn; $162bn), down 15% on official expectations.

Spending for the year hit 975bn riyals, some 13% more than forecast.

Oil prices have plunged from a five-year high of $125 a barrel in March 2012 to just $37.18 now.

Saudi Arabia said that oil revenues, which make up 77% of the total revenue figure for 2015, are down 23% compared to last year.

It is the largest member of the Opec oil-producing cartel and has refused to cut output in order to raise prices in an attempt to put other producers – mainly US shale oil companies – out of business.

Saudi thinks it can withstand low oil prices for longer than US producers, many of which are small, heavily-indebted firms.

Spending on military and security projects reached 20bn riyals in 2015, Saudi Arabia said, following its war in Yemen as well as action support militant group in Syria and Iraq.

The majority of the increase in overall spending was on salaries to civil and military Saudi employees.

Saudi Arabia has been compared to DAESH in long time now, especially for their support of terrorist organizations in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Hashtags #SueMeSaudi has many hits every minute, and many want to mark their opposition and to show their distance to the brutal dictator regime in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia practice Wahhabism ideology, a strictly fundamentalist orientation within Sunni Islam, which in practice is the state religion in the country. It is also ideology direction that has inspired al-Qaida and Daesh.

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