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Saudi king orders new allowances to offset rising cost of living

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Saturday ordered a monthly payment of 1,000 riyals ($267) to state employees over the next year in compensation for rising cost of living after the government hiked domestic gas prices and introduced value-added tax (VAT). In a royal decree published by state news media, the king also ordered the payment of 5,000 riyals to military personnel serving at the front lines with Yemen where the kingdom is fighting a nearly three-year-old war. Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter,…