By George Psyllides
Some €75mln was paid by the state in 2015 in the form of guaranteed minimum income (GMI) with the beneficiaries reaching around 45,000 people, Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou said on Monday.
The minister told the House labour committee that GMI beneficiaries reached 45,026 people – 25,160 families – who shared €75.4mln.
Among those eligible were 5,705 people who received low pensions and 1,094 single individuals.
The state has paid €12.7mln so far in 2016.
MPs heard that 4,421 applications for care from GMI beneficiaries – either at home or in nursing facilities – have been received by the ministry. Staff have finished reviewing 2,000 applications and have approved 800.
“We have set a timeframe and we hope to complete the process in the next two months so that those who really need care receive it,” the minister said.
She informed MPs that the issue with foreign women who had children with Cypriots and later separated, but were not eligible for GMI, had been resolved.
The issue was raised by the Green Party, which tabled a bill to rectify it.
Emilianidou said 10 cases have so far been approved by the welfare department based on the amendment.
“It was proposal we agreed with and that is why we have implemented it,” she said.
Committee chairman, AKEL MP Andreas Fakondis said there had been many care applications and a lot of time had passed.
“There are cases where people died in bed awaiting for care while others were forced to sell immovable property to pay their caregiver,” he said.
Green Party MP Giorgos Perdikis said there were 79 cases of women foreign nationals who were single parents.
“It appears that not all women have applied for the allowance,” he said.