Saudi Arabia will triple the rate of value added tax on goods and services. It will rise to 15 per cent. The government said this was necessary because of the effects of coronavirus on the economy. The pandemic has damaged the oil-rich nation's finances. Oil prices and demand for oil have fallen. Saudi started VAT for the first time in 2018. Oil revenue this year has fallen by almost a quarter when compared to the same period last year.
Saudi's Finance Ministry also suspended the cost of living allowance. This is paid to state workers to help with rising prices and expensive petrol. The Finance Minister said: "These measures are...necessary to maintain financial and economic stability over the medium to long term...and to overcome the unprecedented coronavirus crisis with the least damage possible." The measures would impact consumption and could lower revenues.