6.648 families receive material security, the poor many more

The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare says that next year they plan to pass a law that will improve this area, while the Food Bank says that the poor need serious access and support, not reduction to statistics...

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Material security currently amounts to 76,56 euros per individual, Photo: none
Material security currently amounts to 76,56 euros per individual, Photo: none
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

In June of this year, 6.648 families, i.e. 22.481 members who are in a state of social need, used material security, and the state paid them about 672.000 euros for this purpose.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare replied to "Vijesta" that the amounts of benefits have increased by 8,7 percent since July 76,56 and amount to 145,55 euros per individual, or 9 euros for a family with five or more members. On the occasion of the International Day of the Poor, which is celebrated on August XNUMX, they said that in the coming year, a new law on social and child protection is planned to be passed, in order to improve this area and improve the material position of beneficiaries of social protection rights.

According to the data of the Directorate of Statistics, about 22,6 percent of citizens are at risk of poverty, and the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare only has data on the number of beneficiaries who exercise social and child protection rights.

These rights, they clarified, consist of 14 material benefits and five groups of social and child protection services, which are realized through centers for social work and institutions for housing beneficiaries. However, only one of those rights, material security, applies to the poor, that is, it depends on their financial status.

"According to the data from June 2022, the number of users of all rights is 94.369, but it should be pointed out that one user uses more rights, so the number of users is significantly lower. In the context of poverty, we can say that these are the beneficiaries of material security, of which 2022 families with 6.648 members were recorded in June 22.481, for whose needs about 672.000,00 euros are allocated monthly. Beneficiaries of the aforementioned right, in accordance with their status, exercise or can exercise other rights (child allowance, feeding costs in pre-school institutions, allowances for newborns, allowances based on the birth of a child, one-time financial assistance, subsidies for monthly electricity bills, summer holidays and wintering for children of a certain age and certain rights according to other regulations)", explained the department he manages Admir Adrović.

They said that persons without established criteria in terms of income and property also exercise the right to financial aid, and significantly larger funds are allocated for their realization compared to material security.

Illustrationphoto: Shutterstock

"These include the beneficiaries of the care and assistance allowance, of whom there are 19.768 and for whom approximately 1,4 million euros are allocated monthly, the beneficiaries of personal disability benefits, of whom there are 3.041, for whom funds are allocated in the amount of approximately 585 thousand euros per month, beneficiaries of all benefit based on the birth of a child, of which there are 5.700, and about 1,6 million euros are allocated per month, beneficiaries of the allowance for children up to six years of age, of which there are 37.704, and about 1,15 million are allocated per month... The aforementioned allocations will significantly increase by introducing an allowance for children up to 18 years of age, the payment of which is planned from October 1, 2022," reads the Ministry's response.

They pointed out that the right to compensation from the social and child protection budget is realized under the Law on the Execution of the Decision of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro, for 310 beneficiaries whose needs are allocated about 81.000 euros per month, under the Law on Compensation of former beneficiaries of benefits based on the birth of three or more children for 16.038 beneficiaries, about 3,9 million is paid and according to the Act on travel privileges for persons with disabilities, about 2.044 euros is paid for 370.000 beneficiaries.

"Study of material contributions - for priority changes to the Law on Social and Child Protection", which was prepared with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Montenegro, for the needs of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, showed that only ten percent of the money from the current of the Montenegrin social protection system, the materially disadvantaged - poor citizens.

They state that this relationship is a crucial problem of the social protection system in Montenegro, which has 18 types of material-social benefits. However, there is only one thing - material security is aimed at the poor, that is, it depends on the property status, while the other rights are categorical (care and assistance allowance, personal disability allowance, maternity, recently and child allowance for all children up to six years old,...) and citizens of good financial status also achieve them. As they state, "it often creates the perception among the lay public that 'social welfare' is also received by the rich, citizens of good financial status".

Illustrationphoto: Shutterstock

On the occasion of the World Day of the Poor, the Food Bank said yesterday that government representatives must have a different approach to poverty, in order to stop looking at this phenomenon as something abstract, reducing the poor to statistics.

The president of that organization Marina Medojević on the occasion of August 9 - the World Day of the Poor, said that the state of Montenegro must be ashamed of the poverty of its citizens because, as she stated, it is very pronounced and there are no measures that would contribute to reducing it.

"With the potentials we have and the small number of inhabitants, one should rarely be disinterested in the fate of the socially vulnerable, and have the power to change the system that people in power have, so that they leave a third of their inhabitants to live", Medojević believes.

She reminded that Montenegro was declared by the Constitution as a state of social justice, but, as she said, that was just a dead letter.

"All state officials who received apartments and loans from the state, at ridiculous prices and conditions, should be charged at market prices, and cheap social apartments should be built from that money, which would be given to people who are in a state of social need and have not solved housing issue", Medojević believes.

She reminded that the key factor for the drop in unemployment, which is one of the major causes of poverty, is the growth of the economy, the increased number of jobs in domestic companies and the arrival of foreign investors.

Medojević said that half of the pensioners receive a smaller than average pension, from which the beneficiaries cannot even buy medicine, "not to mention food and other bills".

Unfortunately, she added, in the category of the poor there is an increasing number of the working population, as well as young people, whose unemployment rate is at the very top of Europe.

Medojević: The smallest allocations for the poor compared to the total budget

According to Medojević, the state must allocate for social policy and social protection as much as the average in the European Union, because Montenegro has the smallest percentage of money for social benefits for the poor, compared to the total budget.

Medojević said yesterday that free kindergarten, books after primary school, school supplies, clothes, shoes, food, accommodation, heating, treatment - are mental nouns for many socially vulnerable residents of Montenegro.

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