Cyprus Mail

All GMI applicants to be reviewed by end of the month

Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou

By George Psyllides

THE labour ministry aimed to go through all the guaranteed minimum income (GMI) applicants by the end of the month, the minister said yesterday, reiterating that it was important to create a proper registry.

“We must not create a registry under the pressure that will provide allowances to unqualified people,” Emilianidou said. “However, we are obliged to approve and meet the needs of persons who for years had no help whatsoever, up until now.”

GMI applications revealed cases of welfare recipients who owned blocks of flats and had hundreds of thousands of euros in deposits, and others who continued to receive benefits even after the beneficiaries’ death.

Other applicants stated one bank account in their name, but authorities found three or four more, containing deposits in excess of €300,000.

There have been cases of owners of property valued in excess of €1m.

Authorities said there were 17,000 new GMI applicants, mainly including long-term unemployed who had no support from the state.

GMI was introduced this year, replacing the previous system of public assistance allowance.

“With the reform of the welfare system and the introduction of the GMI, this group of 17,000 households will be able for the first time to receive benefits and have a safety net,” Emilianidou said.

The minister said that so far authorities have approved a small number of applications from this group, but the aim “is to be able to examine all applications by the end of November.”

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