Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou on Monday announced that no pensioner would be receiving less than €710 per month after it was decided to raise the allowances given to low-income pensioners.
The minister said in a tweet that low-income pensioners would promptly receive, retroactively for 2020, a raise in their allowance.
“With the increase decided by the government, no single low-income pensioner will be receiving less than €710 to €834 per month in total,” Emilianidou tweeted.
The minister made the announcement following a meeting with Disy leader Averof Neophytou.
Emilianidou said after the meeting that this concerns around 30,000 low-income pensioners.
“No one will be under the poverty line,” the minister said.
She explained that the minimum state pension today is €359 while those on the social pension receive €341. These allowances have been raised for low-income pensioners so, in combination with their pension, no one will receive less than €710 per month.
This raise will be given proportionally to all low-income pensioners whose incomes are below €834, Emilianidou said.
As regards low-income elderly couples, she said the poverty line is €1,065. With the additional benefits, they will be receiving a minimum of €1,210 per month, she said.
Emilianidou also said that beneficiaries of the Guaranteed Minimum Income will be given the additional money in January because the Christmas bonus has already been given to them.
The raise, approved by the cabinet, will be paid retroactively from last January and for the whole of 2020. “The 2020 budget allows us to give this raise retroactively.”
The €19m necessary for the additional allowances is included in the labour ministry’s budget for this year, she said.
The minister said this was the third raise given by the government.
Neophytou said this development was “good news”.
He added that it satisfies a decades-old request and was taking into account the views and sensitivities of both Edek and those who voted for the budget and the other parties.
Neophytou said this was “a historic day” and expressed the hope that parliament would approve the respective funds for 2021, by voting in favour of the state budget in a few weeks.
Edek too welcomed the minister’s decision to adopt its own proposal for a minimum pension.
“It is a proposal that significantly contributes to improving the quality of life of low-income pensioners,” the party said in a statement.
As regards the veto on the budget by several opposition parties last week, Emilianidou said that this would create problems especially as regards the support schemes for the employees and the companies which had to close within December due to the measures against the spread of coronavirus.