Social Security Benefits up 7.0% in first 6 months of the year

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Social Security Benifits up 7.0% in first 6 months of the yearExpenditure on Social Security Benefits increased by 7.0 per cent during the first half of the year, mainly on account of higher expenditure on Pensions in respect of Retirement, Children’s Allowance and Bonus, according to data issued by the National Statistics Office.

Total expenditure on Social Security Benefits amounted to €390.4 million during the first six months of 2012, up by €25.4 million over the corresponding period last year. This mainly reflected higher expenditure on Contributory Benefits, amounting to €19.1 million. Concurrently, Non-Contributory Benefits went up by €6.3 million.

The increase in Contributory Benefits was essentially the result of a €13.2 million increase in Pensions in respect of Retirement, which amounted to €183.4 million for the first six months of 2012. Pensions in respect of Invalidity decreased during the period under review by €1.2 million. Pensions in respect of Widowhood increased by €1.3 million, while the Contributory Bonus added €5.5 million.

Non-Contributory Benefits rose by €6.3 million over the comparative period in 2011. This was mainly attributed to higher expenditure on Children’s Allowance (+ €3.2 million) and Social Assistance (+ €1.7 million). All other benefits under the Non-Contributory scheme registered modest increases.

Expenditure on Social Security Benefits during the second quarter amounted to €183.6 million, an increase of €8.3 million compared to the June quarter of 2011. This rise was brought about by an increase of €6.6 million in Contributory Benefits and €1.7 million in Non- Contributory Benefits. The increase in Contributory Benefits was driven up by the additional outlay of €6.7 million in the Two-thirds Pension.

The increase in the Non-Contributory Benefits was mainly due to a rise of €0.9 million in Social Assitance.

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