Benefit payments will now be 120,000 dinars monthly. File photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The KRG has increased social security benefits for people with special needs, bringing them close to pre-austerity levels.
The increase will see an additional 30,000 Iraqi dinars being added to their monthly payments, bringing them up to 120,000 (just over $100).
There are more than 100,000 people registered having special needs in the Kurdistan Region.
Prior to the introduction of the salary-saving system under which public employees saw their salaries slashed in an unpopular austerity measure, unemployed people with special needs were given 150,000 dinars monthly. People who were employed but still classified as special needs, received monthly benefit payments of 100,000 dinars.
In 2016, with the introduction of the salary-saving system, the benefits were also decreased to between 60,000 and 90,000 dinars.
In Sulaimani, people can receive their benefits from April 22, the directorate general of social monitoring and development of Sulaimani province announced on Monday, explaining that issues preparing the list of beneficiaries had delayed issuing the payments.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has asked the KRG to end the austerity measure for people with special needs now that the financial situation is improving and the government has scaled back its salary reductions.
“Now that the financial crisis is heading towards a resolution, we have asked the Finance Ministry to work on restoring the benefits of the social monitoring segment,” Hamzah Maghdid, from the media office of Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, told Rudaw.
The KRG passed a bill that would cap the deduction of salaries at 30 percent for high earners and 10 percent for low earners, except for those earning less than $336, who will be exempt from deductions.