Cyprus Mail

Help needed to meet unemployment payments

Archive photo outside the unemployment office

By Staff Reporter

THE labour ministry has tabled a bill asking to transfer €170 million from pension accounts to the social security fund to cover shortfalls created by rising unemployment payments.

The transfer was deemed necessary after an actuarial study found that that the unemployment benefits account was expected to have a shortfall of between €154.8 million and €177.5 million in 2013 and 2014.

The ministry said similar transfers have taken place in the past.

According to the accompanying report, it was not appropriate to cover the deficit either through the state’s consolidated fund or a special contribution by workers and employers due to the current state of the economy and public finances.

Close to €150 million were paid in the form of unemployment benefits in 2013, compared with €124.4m the previous year – a 20.4 per cent rise.

The jobless rate in Cyprus is close to 17 per cent, representing some 75,000 people.

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