Creditors say social solidarity benefit requires extra cuts

Creditors say social solidarity benefit requires extra cuts

Greece’s creditors – and particularly the International Monetary Fund – are raising fresh objections to the government’s plans for financing its Social Solidarity Income.

Creditor representatives are demanding fresh cuts to certain welfare benefits in order to finance measure for supporting vulnerable social groups in 2018, adding one more obstacle in the process for completing the second bailout review.

The new snag has prompted a strong reaction from the Greek negotiating team, as this issue was supposed to have been closed after the government’s commitment to proceed with two tough reforms that could include interventions to benefits given to households and to the disabled, as well as to tax exemptions, with an aim of saving between 200 and 210 million euros in 2018.

For this year, the online platform for the submission of applications for assistance is expected to open to the public within January. The aim is for some 700,000 people to benefit from the Social Solidarity Income. The government’s plan is for the application of the measure across Greece to be financed both in 2017 and in the coming years from the state budget.

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