ECONOMY

Social dividend expansion to 1 million people

social-dividend-expansion-to-1-million-people

This month’s budget spending on the “social dividend” is seen reaching up to 200 million euros, against the announced 175 million, as the government is examining the possibility of expanding the number of recipients of the handout from the primary budget surplus overrun.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras stated on Thursday that the funds will grow so that more categories of disabled people receive the one-off benefit and some injustices can be corrected.

Ministry sources say the government is considering the addition of another 40,000-50,000 households to the list of recipients, with a large share of them being households with at least one disabled person, for which the inclusion criteria are likely to change. Therefore the total number of households to get the social dividend is likely to approach 300,000, compared to the original figure of 253,000, concerning about 1 million people. The 700-euro handout will go to households with more than three children, or with unemployed or disabled members.

“Obviously the dividend has some injustices, and I wish we could hand it out to more social groups too,” Staikouras told Skai TV. “In total it concerns 1 million citizens, and I believe the sum could go up a little,” he noted.