MP Safa Al-Hashem blasted the government yesterday for not giving jobs to unemployed Kuwaitis, saying financial allocations for the appointment of nationals have been reduced while those for expatriates have been raised. The lawmaker added the government is not serious in replacing expatriates in government jobs with Kuwaitis.
Hashem said in last year’s budget, financial allocations for new appointments for Kuwaitis were slashed to KD 160 million from KD 185 million in the previous year. At the same time, allocations for expatriate appointments in government jobs were raised to KD 148 million from just KD 117 million in the previous year. She did not provide figures for the current fiscal year which began on April 1, whose budget has not yet been approved by the National Assembly.
The Assembly has elected a special committee to speed up the replacement of expatriates in government jobs with Kuwaitis and the panel has repeatedly complained that the government is not cooperating. Hashem claimed that there are over 4,500 job vacancies in the government, with over 2,500 in the oil sector alone, and authorities have so far failed to fill them with thousands of unemployed Kuwaiti graduates who are waiting for jobs.
Meanwhile, pro-government MP Ahmad Al-Fadhl yesterday threatened Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Sabeeh with a new grilling, saying “it will be unprecedented”. Sabeeh last Thursday survived a vote of no-confidence which was taken following a grilling by MP Saleh Ashour over alleged administrative violations and failure to resolve the imbalance in the demographic structure, which is in favor of expatriates.
If Fadhl carries out his threat, it will be Sabeeh’s fifth grilling. The lawmaker said he will file the grilling if the ministry fails to take action against the Transparency Society and its violation of the law. He claimed that the society is restricted to Muslim Brotherhood members only and its reports have been against Kuwait. The society is a non-government organization that comes under the umbrella of the social affairs and labor ministry.
Separately, the legal committee completed a report of the proposed amendment of the penal code for violations that include insulting Arab leaders. The new amendment removes the jail sentence and substitutes the penalty to a fine of between KD 3,000 and KD 6,000, but proposed a three-month imprisonment and a fine of KD 10,000 for those who repeat the crime within five years.