€ 4.5mln a month in GMI aid to 23,500
A monthly payout of 4.5 mln euros is distributed to some 23,500 beneficiaries in the form of the Guaranteed Minimum Income aid, which the government says is well within its budgetary capabilities.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance that introduced the scheme last year to help low-income families and ‘vulnerable’ groups, said that 12,670 applications were approved, in some cases involving more than one recipient per household.
These are jobless people, long-term unemployed, low-income earners and ‘special needs’ families that depend on state hand-outs because of ailments.
This means support to those who really need the aid,” the Ministry said, adding that many of the recipients had never received benefits or were not eligible.
More than half of the applicants who were rejected had deposits of 25,000 euros up to 1 mln, while 60% of those turned down had assets or property worth over 200,000 euros. Of these, 94 even had properties worth more than 1 mln.
Of those rejected on income criteria, 80% had revenues of more than 1,000 a month and half earned 1,500 or more.
The ministry administer benefits of 522 mln euros, whil social benefits are distributed to those eligible for child support or single parents, low-pension earners, those suffering from chronic illnesses, World War II veterans, social pensions, extreme handicaps, paraplegics, tetraplegics, blind and those in need of mechanised or other assistance (wheelchairs, etc.).
Meanwhile, Minister Zeta Emilianidou said that the aim is to is intensify efforts to tackle the problem of unemployment and the phenomenon of illegal and undeclared work.
In her address at the 15th Congress of the Construction Workers’ and Miners’ Federation over the weekend, she said that the drastic reduction in demand during 2009-2011 seriously hampered the construction sector thus reducing its contribution to GDP to 7.8% in 2011 from 11.7% in 2008, while whereas employment in construction increased from 9.8% in 2000 to 12.1% in 2008, it dropped to 6.7% in the second quarter of 2015, or from 46,217 persons down to 24.374.
In September, for the first time since November 2012, the registered unemployed fell below 40,000, for an annual decrease of 10.8% compared to the same month last year.
In August, long-term unemployment by 5.5% year-on-year, mostly from sectors of services, commerce constructions.
The Labour Market Observatory showed that in August the number of unemployed for more than six months reached 19,333 people, down by 1,128 persons or 5.5% y-oy. Statistics showed that those in the labour force out of work for more than six months accounts for 47% of all registered unemployed.
Most long-term unemployed are in the services sector (26%), followed by trade (19%) and constructions (15%).
The majority of long-term unemployed are Greek Cypriots (84%), followed by European citizens (8%), foreigners (3%) and Pontian Greeks (3%). fell the and