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Kuwait PM calls for spending, consumption cuts

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait's prime minister has called the Gulf Arab state's welfare system unsustainable and said the major oil producer needs to cut spending and the consumption of its natural resources.

In some of the strongest comments yet from a senior government official on Kuwait's rising spending bill, Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah said a "transformation" was needed to avoid future problems.

"The current welfare state that Kuwaitis are used to is unsustainable," he said in the introduction to a government programme sent to lawmakers ahead of the opening of parliament on Tuesday.

"It is necessary for Kuwaiti society to transform from a consumer of the nation's resources to a producer," he said, according to excerpts published in local media on Monday.

(Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)