Outlay on social security benefits up €9.7 m in first quarter of 2016
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In the first quarter of 2016, the outlay on social security benefits increased by €9.7 million when compared to the previous year.
Total social security benefits amounted to €206.6 million during the first quarter of 2016, reflecting a 4.9 per cent increase when compared to the corresponding quarter in 2015. The increase in expenditure was due to a €10.4 million rise in Contributory Benefits outlay. On the other hand, Non-Contributory Benefits expenditure declined by €0.6 million.
Contributory Benefits outlay totalled €162.0 million, 6.8 per cent higher than the comparative quarter in 2015. The rise in outlay was mainly due to a €7.0 million rise in Pensions in respect of Retirement.
Further increases in expenditure were recorded under Contributory Bonus (€2.2 million) and Pensions in respect of Widowhood (€1.6 million). On the other hand, decreases of €0.2 million were registered under both Pensions in respect of Invalidity and Other Benefits.
Non-Contributory Benefits decreased by 1.4 per cent during the first quarter of 2016, amounting to €44.6 million. A €1.3 million decline in Social Assistance was the main reason behind such decrease, followed by drops in outlay for Child Allowance (€0.3 million) and Non-Contributory Bonus (€0.1 million). Conversely, a rise in outlay was recorded under Disability Pension/Allowance (€0.5 million), Old Age Pension (€0.1 million) and Supplementary Allowance (€0.1 million).
During the first quarter of 2016, the largest cohort of Social Security Beneficiaries was recorded under the Two-Thirds Pension (42,786). In comparison to the corresponding quarter of 2015, the largest increase in beneficiaries was also registered under the Two- Thirds Pension (2,010) while Unemployment Benefit registered the highest decline in beneficiaries by 322.
Non-Contributory Benefits mainly consisted of Children's Allowance (40,615) and Supplementary Allowance (22,969) recipients. The largest rise in beneficiaries was recorded under Unemployment Assistance Taper with 1,262 more persons while Unemployment Assistance registered the largest drop with 1,120 less recipients.
Photograph by Alain Salvary