NICOSIA - Cabinet has decided to revoke a decision by the previous administration to cut the additional social cohesion allowance to the disabled from January 1, 2014.
The decision to cut the additional allowance that was used for covering basic needs like heating, water and electricity of
disabled people receiving a social benefit was made in December 2012.
Cabinet has authorised the Finance Ministry to find the extra €15 million for this budget from other savings and resources.
The additional allowance comes to €1,700 a year (€142 a month) and goes out to 8,500 disabled people, of whom 2,500 are underage disabled children.
In statements to the press, Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou yesterday said:
“The President has given instructions and Cabinet decided that the social benefit be returned to this category of disabled people and to quash the decision of the previous government.”
“The Finance Minister has been authorised to find the required sum from other savings so that this social benefit will continue to be given,” she added.
She clarified that disabled people entitled to the benefit will receive the money.
The allowance will be given to those entitled to it until the implementation of the new social welfare system providing a guaranteed minimum income is effective from July 1.
“A decision has been made by the government to fully restructure the social welfare system with the introduction of the guaranteed minimum income,” Emilianidou said.
“We are at a very good point. We have completed enough preparatory work for the introduction of the guaranteed minimum income,” she added.
She also noted that as soon as the preparatory work is finalised a social dialogue will begin for achieving the best possible social policy.
“We truly require a change in our social policy. We must help, as much as we can, those who are truly needy,” Emilianidou told reporters.
The guaranteed minimum income was one of the issues the Labour Ministry discussed with the Troika.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry yesterday announced that the January 2014 social benefit to pensioners with basic pensions will temporarily be paid to those entitled to it on the basis of December 2013 data.
The funds will be transferred to bank accounts in the middle of next week.