Over the last five years, the number of people depending on social benefits has been reduced by half after they got off unemployment and entered the workforce. The Parliamentary Secretary within the Ministry for the Family, Mark Musù, said that the reduction in the number of people depending on benefits was due to measures which have given incentives to get into employment, such as tapering and the in-work benefit.
Statistics from the Department of Social Security show that over the last five years the number of people receiving social assistance and unemployment benefits was cut by almost half.
Mr Musù, said that the over the last five years, the expenditure on social benefits was reduced by €38 million.
He said, “The Government did not hang on to those €38 million but has used them to finance the increase in pensions which have been given over the last four years, and to carry out reforms over these last two years to increase the allowance for carers and the allowance for people with a disability.”
Statistics obtained by Television Malta show that slightly more than 15,000 people (15,114) in 2013 were depending on social assistance and by last year only 7,606 were left.
Mr Musù expressed his satisfaction with the results obtained by the system of tapering which began in 2014, for people who used to be on the unemployment register, and who began working.
“Of those who entered the tapering system and who have now been three years receiving a tapering off of their benefits – 90% of these have remained in employment. If you have someone who falls back on benefits, naturally he can always go back to work, but he will not be entitled to the tapering scheme the second time around.”
Mr Musù said that a social sector reform which began in 2015 is the in-work benefit for families with dependent children who do not have enough income. The Parliamentary Secretary within the Social Security Ministry said that there are more than 4,300 families who have benefitted from this initiative which between 2015 – 2018 has cost the Government almost €10 million.