Social Security Benefits outlay increased by €1.8 million – NSO

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Social Security Benefits outlay increased by €1.8 million - NSOSocial Security Benefits outlay increased by €1.8 million, or 0.9 per cent to €208.4 million during the first quarter of 2017 compared to 2016, the National Statistics Office has said.

A €3.8 million rise in Contributory Benefits outlay was the reason for the increase the NSO said.. Conversely, Non-Contributory Benefits expenditure recorded a decline of €2.0 million.

Contributory Benefits expenditure amounted to €165.8 million, 2.3 per cent higher than the corresponding 2016 period.

The NSO added that Pensions in respect of Retirement registered the largest increase of €3.5 million, followed by Pensions in respect of Widowhood (€2.2 million) and Contributory Bonus (€0.7 million).

According to the NSO the rise in Contributory Benefits outlay was partially offset by decreases recorded under Pensions in respect of Invalidity (€2.1 million) and Other Benefits (€0.5 million).

The Non-Contributory expenditure totalled €42.6 million in the first three months of 2017, reflecting a 4.4 per cent decrease from 2016.

The drop in outlay was mainly due to a €2.3 million decline recorded under Social Assistance outlay, the NSO said.

There were also further decreases registered in Children’s Allowance (€0.5 million), In-Work Benefit (€0.2 million) and Non-Contributory Bonus (€0.1 million).

However, a €0.4 million increase in outlay was recorded under both Disability Pensions/Allowance and Supplementary Assistance, together with a €0.2 million rise registered under Old Age Pension, the NSO said.

The National Statistics Office noted that the Two-Thirds Pension contained the largest cohort of Contributory Benefits’ beneficiaries with 44,741 recipients registered by the end of the first quarter of 2017.

It said that the same benefit recorded the biggest increase in beneficiaries with 1,976 more recipients than the first quarter of 2016. Conversely, the largest drops in recipients were recorded by the Unemployment Benefit (272) and the National Minimum Invalidity Pension (235).

The majority of Non-Contributory recipients, in the first three months of 2017, consisted of Children’s Allowance (40,659) and Supplementary Assistance (22,652).

The NSO concluded by saying that Unemployment Assistance Tapering and In-Work Benefit recorded the largest increases in beneficiaries with 663 and 558 more recipients respectively. On the other hand, Unemployment Assistance registered the largest drop with 1,472 less recipients.

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