May 2, 2017 / 6:36 PM / 8 months ago

Saudi prince says will restore austerity steps if needed

RIYADH, May 2 (Reuters) - The Saudi Arabian government is prepared to restore austerity steps if state finances pass through another critical phase, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Tuesday.

Prince Mohammed was speaking in a nationally televised interview, a year after he launched a series of radical economic reforms designed to reduce a huge budget deficit caused by low oil prices and to diversify the economy beyond oil.

Last month, the government reversed an unpopular austerity step, restoring allowances to public sector workers after cutting them last September to save money. Prince Mohammed said on Tuesday that the decision was due to improved oil and non-oil revenues. (Reporting by Riyadh team; Writing by Andrew Torchia)

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