Kuwait's ruler has warned his country's income is down some 60 percent due to low global oil prices, urging citizens to be prepared for any economic reforms.

Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah made the comments on Tuesday in an address at the opening of a new parliament session.

Al Sabah said that "there must be speedy, serious and urgent measures to complete the economic reforms and attain their objectives, namely with slashing the public spending."

The emir did not specifically say what programs or spending would be cut. This tiny OPEC nation provides its 1.1 million citizens extensive social welfare programs.

Kuwait has the most free-wheeling political system among the Gulf Arab states and a vibrant press. Recent protests have focused on graft allegations in the country.