Almost 85% of the 26 social measures from the budget of 2020 have been implemented, said Minister for Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity Michael Falzon, adding that the ministry is aiming for the completion of the proposed measures.
He was addressing a press conference that highlighted the progress that the ministry has made in implementing the social measures that were proposed in the budget of 2020.
26 social measures in total were addressed in this budget which were intended to strengthen the standard of living of Maltese families by providing a better quality of life for pensioners, families with children, people low-income, and the most vulnerable – especially disabled people and elderly.
Falzon said that 22 measures out of 26 of have been realised since their announcement, meaning that 84.7% of all measures have been implemented.
“This is the highest rate of Budget implementation we have ever experienced in just half a year,” he said.
The main measures that were carried out include; an increase of €7 per week to all pensioners, a cost of living allowance (€3.49 per week) and various measures for pensioners services and widows.
There were also improvements in supplementary aid for elderly who do not live in state homes as well as for persons with disability, and in various other measures for sick persons. Incentives for the family to get more sustainability and support where implemented too, with disabled persons sitting at the heart of this plan.
Notably, the ministry’s work did not stop during the COVID-19 pandemic which saw the introduction of the supplementary aid for elderly living in private residential homes while the rate for those aged 80 and over was increased to €350.
Persons with disabled and those who were ill were given a salary as well, while a €300 Child Bonus has been awarded for the first time.
“While they were being paid €5 million in COVID-19’s profits, we still maintained the provision of every existing pension and benefit, including to new applicants,” Falzon explained.
The 4 measures that still need to be implemented regard a €13 million initiative in grants aimed at addressing of injustices of the past.
These grants will be awarded on 21 November 2020 to those who were in the force before 1979; the police, tax-Xatt and the Gas Board.
Work is also underway so that a helpline is set up in the shortest span of time possible for disabled people and their families. Additionally, the ministry is working on delivering professional advice to workers working in the disability sector to be better trained in the performance of their duties.
Falzon concluded by stating that the ministry is aiming the total implementation of the 2020 Budget social measures which will contribute greatly to the 2017 Electoral Manifesto which at the moment stand at 84.49% in the first 3 years of legislation.
The measures planned for the 2021 Budget are already ready and will be discussed from now onwards, he added.