The Malta Independent 26 February 2024, Monday
View E-Paper

194,000 individuals to receive the first additional COLA payments

Wednesday, 6 December 2023, 15:21 Last update: about 4 months ago

Around 95,000 families, totalling 194,000 individuals, will receive the first of two due additional payments on the Cost-of-Living Adjustment at the end of this week, government said on Wednesday.

The payment, covering from January 1st to the end of June 2024, amounts to a total of €14.7 million.

The second payment, covering the second half of 2024, will be disbursed in the coming May, 2024. More than half (53%) of the beneficiaries of this payment are not at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

ADVERTISEMENT

The details were announced during a press conference addressed by the Minister for Social Policy and Children's Rights Michael Falzon and Permanent Secretary Mark Musu. It was explained that this payment is based on an additional compensation mechanism for the cost of living, adjusted according to family income and the number of family members living in the same residence.

Falzon stated that this benefit will range from €100 to €1,500 per year, with rates varying based on income and family members. He also mentioned that this assistance to address the cost of living is expected to exceed €30 million next year.

“We are incentivizing people and doing this in a country which has the highest rate of employment, the lowest unemployment rate, the highest economic growth in the entire European Union, and the greatest packet of social measures. However, we understand the social realities of the moment, and we continued strengthening our families’ wellbeing,” Falzon said.

In a detailed presentation, Permanent Secretary Mark Musu explained the different income groups benefiting from this assistance.

A family of one person can receive the additional COLA if they receive less than €18,155. A family of two persons with their salaries combined must receive less than €27,233 in annual income to become eligible for the additional COLA.

Families of three person, with a child under 14 years of age, must receive less than €32,679 to receive the additional COLA. A family whose child is 14 years or over must receive €36,310 to become eligible for the assistance.

Families comprised of four persons, with two children under 14 years of age, must receive less than €38,126 in annual net income to be able to receive the additional COLA. Those with two children aged 14 years or over must receive less than €41,757 to be eligible for the assistance.

Families of five people, with three children under the age of 14, must receive less than €43,572 in annual net income to receive the additional COLA. A family comprised of five people, with two children under the age of 14, and one child aged 14 or over, must receive less than €47,203 to be eligible for the assistance.

Other larger families must receive less than €50,000 in annual net income to become eligible for the additional COLA.

Musu clarified that those in the middle-income range of society are also benefiting. It was said that according to the latest NSO figures on family income, around 44,000 families are considered to be at risk of poverty. This benefit will reach a total of around 95,000 families, he said.

Government said that 30% of the families receiving this benefit (almost 50,000) are not at risk of poverty and social exclusion, and yet they will be assisted with this benefit.

Out of those receiving the payment this week, 37,748 are single individuals, 17,881 are couples, and 36,735 are families with children.

  • don't miss