No more handouts planned

The Market Pass and the aid to pensioners without raises will be the last means of support

No more handouts planned

The measure of supporting pensioners who did not receive a raise is now being considered by the Ministry of Finance, after the announcement of a such an intervention last Friday by Labor Minister Kostis Hatzidakis.

According to information, the amount being considered is in the range of 200-250 million euros. However, it has not been decided how much the support will be and with what criteria it will be given. It will definitely be a one-off benefit.

At the same time, the ruling party is working on the economic program for the next four years. A key element of this is the pay increases for civil servants, which the prime minister referred to in his press conference last week.

Sources say that these increases will not be horizontal. They will focus on strengthening the earnings of the low-paid and those in positions of responsibility. The burden on the 2024 budget, they say, will reach €500 million.

Hatzidakis noted that the government will examine the intervention for pensioners without raises in the context of fiscal possibilities, also citing the prime minister’s statements regarding additional emergency benefits to cover specific problems or injustices. Decisions are expected late in February, when the budget picture is clearer.

Senior Finance Ministry sources claimed on Monday that apart from the aid for pensioners with a personal difference, no other benefit is being considered at the moment, not even the so-called “Easter handout” that starred in a scenario published. As they said, the Market Pass will have exactly this function, of strengthening the purchasing power of the socially vulnerable. Besides, that hasn’t even been handed out yet.

They noted that the Market Pass carries a cost of €650 million, and to this amount another €120 million must be added for the extension of the heating oil subsidy at the pump, as well as about €200 million for the energy needs of the general government bodies, exhausting the €1 billion budgeted reserve, they argued. 

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