Qatar told government-funded entities to cut spending on non-Qatari staffers’ wages as it tries to shore up its finances to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ministry of Finance instructed government ministries, institutions and entities funded by the state to reduce monthly costs for non-Qatari employees by 30% from June 1, either by cutting salaries or laying off workers with a two-month notice, according to a letter seen by Bloomberg.
Declines in energy prices have dented Gulf states’ coffers just as local economies struggle under pandemic-driven lockdowns. Most are bridging the gap with a combination of spending cuts and debt issuance. Qatar, which is due to host the 2022 soccer World Cup, raised $10 billion in debt in April.
In introducing cuts targeting foreign workers or support programs that exclude them, Qatar is joining its neighbors from Oman to the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s prime minister said the country’s expatriate population should be more than halved to 30% of the total.