Qatar is set to post a record budget deficit in 2016, possibly as much as $21bn according to MEES estimates. Spending has been cut, but by much less than revenue. And civil servants are sitting pretty: their salaries buck the trend rising to a record of almost 25% of GDP.

Qatar has slashed government spending in its 2016 budget by 9.4% as it seeks to balance its books following the plunge in oil prices. But even this is not sufficient to prevent the emirate from projecting its first budget...