Press Release by the Ministry for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights: The social minister with financial allocation of €1.8 billion for the year 2022
Reference Number: PR211932
The Minister for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights, Michael Falzon. provided further details as regarding social measures which are to come into force as from next year, together with others which are to come into force as from this very year itself. Whilst at a news conference, Minister Michael Falzon spoke about a number of measures which will continue push forward the families and the workers.
Minister Falzon highlighted the importance that vulnerable persons are provided with the necessary attention and in a timely manner, for which reason there will be an increase in supplimentary assistance which will start to be given out as from December of this year. This will be given out to all those who receive this benefit, with these primarily being pensioners, the elderly and even persons who may be employed, provided that they do not have children under 16 years of age. This measure is aimed towards those most vulnerable.
Married persons, or couples, whose income in 2022 does not exceed €14,318, will receive an increase in the supplimentary assistance benefit, which varies between €3.47 and €6.50 per week, as depending upon their respective income. Single persons, including widows/widowers, whose income in 2022 does not exceed €10,221, will receive an increase of between €4.10 and €5.00 per week. Altogether, through this measure, nearly 29,000 persons are set to benefit, at a cost of €5.6 million per year. This means that with the increase in pensions, together with the increase in supplimentary benefits, many pensioners will be able to observe an annual increase upwards of €500 in turn.
As from next year, €150 will be given out via in-work benefits throughout the year, as to those workers who have a basic wage, which in itself does not exceed €20,000, and who themselves work atypical times, with these mainly encompassing evenings, weekends as well as shift-based schedules, inside of the private sector as across the following areas : accommodation and food services, administrative services together with those support related, manufacture, transport and storage, as well as wholesale and retail services. The workers themselves need to have spent at least 6 months working in these sectors during the span of one calending year. Altogether, around 40,000 workers are set to benefit from this, with the overall rate of the benefit due being equivalent to approximately 10% of the income tax being paid on their behalf. The government is going to be granting €6 million to these very same workers..
Another measure which is to come into effect as from this very same year, specifically as from Monday 25th of October, is that which concerns persons without any fixed address, where these individuals were ending up in a situation in which they were not receiving the assistance and the social benefits due.
By means of an agreement with FSWS, a report is able to be carried-out by social workers, as upon that very same homeless person, as well as the latter being provided with a temporary address on behalf of FSWS, so that in this manner they could benefit from the aforementioned social assistance..
“This is a government which truly believes in everybody’s potential, and for this reason we are doing our utmost so that nobody gets left behind. This is a Malta which is fair, and which believes in every person, without any prejudice”, stated Minister Michael Falzon.
During the news conference itself, Minister Michael Falzon listed a number of other social measures, which will continue to improve overall conditions for all families. Amongst others, he mentioned :
Further reductions in the income tax rate
This year, that is for the year 2021, the government has reduced the overall income tax rate as pertaining to overtime revenue, where the first 100 hours of overtime per year were taxed at 15%, as for those individuals with a basic wage which does not exceed €20,000 annually, and who furthermore do not hold a managerial position.
In order that the government is able to further lower the income tax rate, as from the upcoming year, those workers whose basic wage does not exceed €20,000 annually, and who also do not hold a managerial position, are to start being taxed at 15% on the first €10,000 gained from overtime revenue. Through this very same measure, the government is going to grant €6 million to the workers themselves.
So that the workers of today are able to have access to a better pension, they are further going to be provided with the opportunity to start paying the social security contribution on more than one part-time job, as up to a maximum of 40 working hours per week.
Assistance for vulnerable children, with an average of €10,000 per year being granted to each and every head of state school as from kinder to seconday, as via an overall expenditure of €1m, so that they can ensure that the children entrusted under their supervision do not lack essential items, such as food or basic resources.
An increase in bonus for the birth of a child or adoption. This is set to increase by €100, whereby from €300 this will rise upwards to €400. Around 4,000 parents are expected to benefit from this increase, as through this bonus, with an overall investment of €0.5m.
An increase in allowance for children with disabilties of €5, from which around 1,700 families are set to benefit. The total expenditure incurred is that of €0.5m.
“This is a government which will always be there for our children, as well as a government that is truly concerned about the interests of the elderly, families and children. A government that will invest approximately €1.2 billion in social benefits, as of next year, where this is because we believe that we should continue pushing forward, as well as aiding wherever necessary, anyone who is in need. We will forever remain the political party and the government that has always believed in social justice, and that has always practiced social solidarity in a factual manner.
“This is the Malta that we want to leave for our children”, concluded Minister Michael Falzon.