Iraq Looks to Cut Kurds’ Funding to Punish Them for Referendum

Kurdish Leaders Offer to Hand Over Border, Oil for Budget Share

With Iraq having responded to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) referendum in favor of independence with military action, Iraq’s cabinet now says they intend to substantially cut the budget of the Kurdistan region for 2018 to punish them for the vote.

Since the 2003 US invasion and occupation, the Kurds have been given 17% of Iraq’s funding, and under the new plan, yet to be finalized, this figure has been cut to only 12.6%. Revenue sharing was already a sore spot between the region and the central government.

Still reeling from their military losses, the KRG is looking to make a deal, and says they are willing to totally hand over their oil and border revenues to the central government in return for keeping the figure at 17%.

Indications are Iraq was preparing to take the oil and border revenues either way, but doing that and cutting back their revenue share risks adding to anger among the Kurdish population, many of whom are already fuming after supporting independence and then getting invaded for their trouble.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of