Oman Is Cutting Benefits to Expat Government Employees
The upcoming year will face many spending cuts in Oman.
Following a high deficit of OMR4.4 billion in the first nine months of 2016, the Oman government is taking measures to cut spending in its 2017 budget.
One of the first consequences of these spending cuts affects expats employed in the government sector. These employees will no longer be able to undergo free surgeries for 18 ailments, including cardiac issues, as well as no longer being able to buy free medicine for six diseases, including arthritis.
This change affects both permanent and part-time employees as well as employees of state organisations. The Civil Service council implemented these new rules on December 5, 2016.
SEE ALSO: Pros and cons of living in Oman
The draft budget for 2017 estimates a 5% cut in spending, with no increase in revenues. So expats in Oman can expect more cuts to public sector bonuses and possible increases in fees in certain areas.
The Omani government had recently announced that expat visa fees will be going up by 50%. Currently, obtaining an employment visa for workers in the private sector, the sponsor pays OMR201. Therefore, it will be increased to OMR301.
However, no cuts to wages and salaries are foreseen. The official 2017 budget is expected to be released soon, either by end of year or beginning of 2017.