People on social welfare survive on less than a euro a day

People on social welfare survive on less than a euro a day

Skopje, 12 January 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

Over 180 thousand people in FYR Macedonia live on social welfare, which is the bare minimum to meet their needs. Social allowance is 2.900 denars (50 euros) to 5000 denars (85 euros) a month.

According to economy experts, 9% of the population live on minimum allowance which is less than a euro a day. Idriz Sinani of IGFM organization, which does humanitarian activities, told IBNA that this social allowance is insulting for poor people.

“One cannot survive on such amount. What will pay for the food, clothes, taxes or other necessary services? That amount of money that households receive is insulting and the state must pay more attention to the poor”, Sinani said.

But a family of four members says that it cannot live on 85 euros a month.

“This allowance is not enough for us because it’s four of us. We are often forced to get out and collect plastic bottles or metal objects to earn some money. We have three children and they have their needs, but a part of the allowance goes for medication, because almost the entire family is ill”, says E. Mamutov, a member of the Roma community.

In the recent years, the government has increased social allowance. According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, from 2006 until 2014, social allowance has gone up by 47%. In 2006, the allowance for a family with three members was 50 euros, while now it is 75 euros.

The government announces a new increase of allowance for this group of people.

“In 2015, instead of 5%, the social allowance increased by 10%. In 2016 there will be a fresh increase of 5%”, was declared last week by PM Nikola Gruevski. /ibna/