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Minister Reçica: Increasing social assistance by 20% increases to the welfare of families in need

Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Skender Reçica, during today's session in the Assembly of Kosovo said that his engagement and MLSW is to be closer to the citizens, the commitment that is already being witnessed.

These comments were made by the Minister during today's interpellation in the Kosovo Assembly, where he reasoned before the MPs the Government's decision to increase 20% of the monthly payment for families in the Social Assistance Scheme.

The minister said that since 2015, there has been no increase in the monthly value of social assistance, although the legal provisions, on an annual basis, provide for adjustments to benefit in proportion to the minimum consumer basket.

"Based on MLSW research, various international organizations and price movement of food basket items, it is proposed and decided that the value of social assistance for each family should increase 20% of the current social assistance value and this has started to be implemented from 01 January 2018, "said Minister Reçica.
This decision, according to the minister, will contribute to raising the welfare of these families and reducing the poverty rate, especially the extreme one.

"The approved budget for the Social Assistance Scheme for 2018 is in the amount of 31,350,000.00 euros, within which the increase is planned by 20%," the minister added.

The Minister said that the 20% increase is not enough for these families, but the Government of Kosovo and MLSW, the main objective has determined that through active labor market measures engage at least one member of the second category households of social assistance beneficiaries who will help the family budget and will not be dependent on social assistance.

In order to increase the efficiency in raising the social welfare of citizens, the Minister said that it is necessary to carry out an analysis and review of the social scheme by amending the law on the social assistance scheme, which MLSW, in cooperation with international organizations, the Monetary Fund International and the World Bank is realizing.

Currently, over 26,000 families with over 106,000 members receive social assistance on the basis of the number of family members, ranging from 60 euros to one-member household and 180 euros for the family with the 15 members.