PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades on Friday announced the complete reform of social policy based on the principle of securing a Guaranteed Minimum Income for all citizens.
It should be fully in place by June 2014, he said.
“Beneficiaries will be all of our fellow citizens who have an income below that which can assure them a dignified living, irrespective of age, class or professional situation,” Anastasiades said in a statement.
He said the level of the Guaranteed Minimum Income would take into consideration the needs of every citizen and every household concerning nourishment, clothing, consumption of electricity and other indispensable items.
At the same time, it will guarantee the right for housing of the economically weaker groups of the population, he said. This will be done either through the subsidisation of the rent if the beneficiaries don’t own their own residence, or through the subsidisation of the interest on housing loans in the cases where people own a house but face problems in paying instalments.
“Also covered will be unforeseen expenses, which unfortunately come up in every household, such as, for example, absolutely necessary construction and repairs to houses, municipal taxes, etc,” he said.
“What I want to stress emphatically is that the Guaranteed Minimum Income will also be provided to thousands of our fellow citizens who, in spite of their needs, are not covered to this day by the existing system and they did not receive any substantial assistance from the state,” the president said.
He said these would include unemployed graduates of schools and universities, working people with particularly low earnings will have their income supplemented to reach the Guaranteed Minimum Income, and the self-employed, who have found themselves out of work and who, until now were not covered.
“Many of the pensioners with low pensions, without adequate contributions to the Social Insurance Fund, will also receive higher payments than they receive today,” said Anastasiades.
He said the general principle of the plan was that there would not be any citizen who was “not guaranteed the minimum needs for a dignified living in a European Country”.
President announces ‘Guaranteed Minimum Income’ for all citizens (Cyprus Mail)