ECONOMY

More support planned for those in need

more-support-planned-for-those-in-need

The Labor Ministry is drafting a new support policy for the least privileged social groups, which from next year will replace the Minimum Guaranteed Income benefit with the Social Solidarity Income (SSI) allowance. This will provide people in need with income support, housing, healthcare and transport.

The SSI will be granted to people who will likely be chosen from across the country based on their taxable incomes. They will receive the benefit through the so-called Solidarity Card, while there will be a small cash payment too.

In practice, the SSI card will constitute an extension of the food card that is used by 350,000 people. Therefore, by 2017, some 1 million citizens will have access to food and clothing as well as certain medical and educational services. It will be combined with estimates of recipients’ personal needs and the procedures will be simplified, while the  beneficiaries will be linked to and helped with reaccessing the labor markett.

The ministry aims to expand the SSI from April 2016 and to have it applied to all those living below the poverty line by January 2017. This will be part of a National Social Solidarity System to be created in Greece for the first time, with autonomy and state control, that will be supported by a legal framework.