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Expat teachers’ allowance cut sovereign decision: minister

KUWAIT: Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minster of State for Planning and Development Hind Al-Subaih said Kuwait is ready to discuss decreasing expatriate teachers’ rent allowances at the coming Arab labor ministers’ conference. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony held to celebrate Armenian National Day, Subaih stressed that contracts signed with expat teachers do not include a specific figure for rent allowance.

Subaih added that the decision was a sovereign one and had to be respected. “We are ready to discuss the topic during the Arab labor ministers’ meeting and our doors are open for everyone,” she underlined, pointing out that Kuwait respects all communities on its soil and that they come from brotherly and sisterly countries. “We are ready to explain Kuwait’s point of view,” she added.

Notably, the Central Statistical Commission (CSC) decided to cut expatriate teachers rent allowance from KD 150 to only KD 60 effective from mid-October, justifying it as part of the government’s strategy on cutting expenditures in the state budget. The decision had created anger amongst expat teachers and some communities resorted to their embassies demanding intervening on the grounds that the lowest rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Kuwait is KD 250.

Meanwhile, Subaih admitted that what has been achieved of the development plan “is below our expectation.” However, she added, the surge in implementing the development plan from 56 percent to 80 percent over the past three years “is a quantum leap,” Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported. She hoped implementation would reach 95 percent if paper work cycle was shortened. Subaih meanwhile termed as “solid and excellent” the relations with Armenia. She said there was an Armenian school in Kuwait and the Armenian community was estimated at over 5,000 people. – KUNA

By A Saleh

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