€ 4.5mln a month in GMI aid to 23,500

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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