Planning, budget committee demands increasing social security allocations for low-income families: MP

Abdel Razek Al-Shuwekhi
5 Min Read
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The planning and budget committee of parliament has demanded to raise social security financial allocations in the next fiscal year draft budget by between EGP 2.5bn and EGP 3bn, according to one of its members.

The member of the planning and budget committee said that the increase in allocations should come in line with the increases in prices, such as the fuel increases expected over the next two months, likely to result in higher inflation.

He told Daily News Egypt that a meeting was held with the minister of social solidarity, Ghada Waly, in order to discuss the increase of financial allocations for social security throughout the upcoming fiscal year (FY) to take the sum to at least EGP 20bn.

He added that the amounts allocated by the government during the upcoming FY are insufficient in light of the price increases of goods.

According to the financial report issued by the Ministry of Finance, the total social security allocations for the upcoming FY reached EGP 17.5bn compared to EGP 15.25bn in the current FY budget.

The programme benefits about 3.8m families. Social security aid worth EGP 323 is provided monthly to each one-person family, EGP 360 to two-person families, EGP 413 to three-person families, and EGP 450 to four-person families or more.

According to the Takaful programme, a family receives EGP 325, in addition to an amount for each student in primary, preparatory, and secondary school (EGP 60, EGP 80, and EGP 100 monthly for a maximum of three students per family). As for Karama, each person receives a maximum of EGP 350 for a three-person family.

Sources at the Ministry of Social Solidarity said that Waly met with Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy several weeks ago to demand increasing social security allocations by EGP 3bn.

The Social Solidarity Ministry had demanded providing EGP 500m in pensions for new Takaful and Karama beneficiary families following the disbursement of the World Bank loan in 2017. The Ministry of Finance will handle the provision of the necessary financial dues to the new families joining the pension programmes.

The Finance Ministry recently approved providing EGP 500m for the families that recently joined the programme, after dividing them into two categories, starting from next June.

The sources said that the ministry will consider increasing allocations to EGP 20.6bn.

Over 300,000 families joined the programme over the past few months. More than 500,000 other families are on waiting lists. Some 210,000 families were excluded from the programme for not meet the required criteria.

The sources added that the concerned committee will supervise the application of the controls of the programme, as well as inquire on the families enrolled in the programmes to ensure they meet the requirements and criteria.

The assistant minister of social solidarity, Nevine El-Kabbag, who is responsible for Takaful and Karama, said in a previous statement to Daily News Egypt that cooperation is taking place with several bodies to makes sure that citizens who receive aid from the programmes are actually worthy of it. Some of those bodies include the Ministries of Interior and Immigration, in addition to the Egyptian Passport Authority and private and government social pension funds.

The criteria to join the Takaful programme include regular school attendance by the family’s children, none of the parents having a fixed monthly income or social or health insurance. They must also not have other alternative sources of income, such as a taxi or cattle to breed.

El-Kabbag said that after applying the criteria properly, it turned out that many families were not eligible for the programme, which required halting the programme’s aid to them.

All citizens who received the aid and were not eligible were obliged to return the amounts they received, either in full or through instalments, through the social security units in their governorates.

The Takaful programme targets poor families that have children receiving an education, while Karama addresses the elderly and people with disabilities.

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