Over three-quarters of the €1.7 billion budget for social protection in 2016 was spent on old age and health benefits, according to a comprehensive publication released on Wednesday by the National Statistics Office.
Means testing is to be scrapped when calculating rent subsidies first introduced last year, with the government seeking ways to help lower-middle-income earners struggling in a booming rental market. Central to the new measures is a mandatory requirement for all rental contracts to be registered with the Housing Authority as from next year. The requirement, which features prominently in a white paper currently being debated by stakeholders, is considered non-negotiable by the government.
A €17.2 million increase was recorded in the social security benefits outlay between January and June compared to the same six-month period in 2017, according to the National Statistics Office.
The NSO said social security benefits expenditure reached €497 million during the first half of 2018, reflecting a 3.6% increase from 2017.
Social assistance benefits are received by over 3,000 people who are separated whilst 223 of those separated receive unemployment assistance. On the other hand, approximately 2,500 single mothers are provided with social welfare.
This information was tabled during parliament on Monday evening following a parliamentary question put to Michael Falzon, Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity by PL MP Etienne Grech.
This training will focus on different financial instruments intended for persons with disabilities, their implementation and monitoring in line with the UNCRPD.
Who should attend?
In 2016, social protection remained the core expenditure sector representing 31.6 per cent of total general government expenditure, followed by general public services, health and education, the NSO said today. Total general government expenditure decreased by €39.6 million over 2015, amounting to €3,779.5 million. This fall in total expenditure was primarily due to the closure of the EU Funds programming period 2007-2013 in 2015.
Malta is sixth from the bottom when it comes to expenditure on social protection, official figures show.
The figures also show that Malta’s spend actually decreased to 17.5 per cent in 2015 from the 19.3 per cent of GDP spent in 2010.
The European Union’s statistics office revealed that while social protection expenditure in the EU had increased slightly, from 28.6 per cent of GDP in 2010 to 29 per cent, Malta’s expenditure had decreased.
A number of training programmes will be launched in the coming weeks for inmates, with the aim of improving their chances of integrating back into society after serving their time in prison. Addressing a press conference together with parliamentary Secretary for EU funds Aaron Farrugia, Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia said that the €1 million project will see both the facility's inmates and employees trained. The project is being funded by the European Social Fund.
The OECD’s Social Benefit Recipients Database (SOCR) provides new, detailed and comparable data on the number of people receiving cash benefits. SOCR includes data for the main income replacement programmes in the unemployment, social assistance, disability and old-age branches. It currently covers periods since 2007 for most OECD and EU countries.
Bringing together thousands of senior professionals from across Europe for the past 25 years, the European Social Services Conference (ESSC) has long been pioneering the value of knowledge sharing to transform people’s lives. Over the years, thousands of senior professionals have come together at the conference to share new ideas and improve services. For this special anniversary edition, the ESSC is being organised for the first time in cooperation with the Maltese Government, who will be presiding over the Council of the European Union.