By Andia Kades
SO far, some 20,100 households have been approved for the guaranteed minimum income (GMI) benefit, while there are still two months of applications pending, Labour minister Zeta Emilianidou said on Thursday.
Speaking after a meeting with AKEL representatives and general secretary Andros Kyprianou, she denied she received complaints there were public servants receiving GMI – an assistance aimed at helping those in need.
“If there are such reports and evidence I would like to know about this so we can evaluate it,” Emilianidou told reporters.
The aim of Thursday’s meeting, according to Kyprianou, was to discuss practical solutions on how the whole process could be simplified.
The service processing the application is severely understaffed and had huge room for improvement, he added after he said he received complaints there were terrible delays in evaluating the applications and the appeals.
Picking up phones was another problematic area, Kyprianou said, however he left the meeting satisfied saying “we got some answers.”
“Efforts undertaken by the labour ministry to solve these practical problems were explained to us. We will monitor the matter and attempt to contribute with proposals and ideas to overcome them.”
Thanking her, Kyprianou said they had breached other matters which include repatriated individuals, people that were tortured in 1974, long term unemployed and low pensioners.
“Very soon, the ministry will be in a position to take initiatives submitting relevant proposals for facing these problems,” he added.
“Any discussions and exchange of opinions work towards better serving our fellow citizens that are really in need with the best possible way. I am sure we will continue to exchange opinions so that all of us together can resolve the problems our fellow citizens are facing,” Emilianidou said.