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Saudi king orders payouts and bonuses to soften price hikes

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has authorised a range of bonuses and payouts for citizens, including a monthly payment of 1,000 riyals (£197) for civil servants for the coming year.

The measures are aimed at softening the impact of price hikes as the government works to restructure its economy amid lower oil prices.

In a series of royal decrees issued overnight, the king ordered a 5,000 riyal (£983) payout to military personnel serving on the front lines of the kingdom's war with Yemen, as well as a 500 riyal (£98) allowance for one year for retirees and those receiving social security.

Students' monthly stipends will be boosted this year and the government will bear the cost of the new tax for some services and the purchase of a first home.

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