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Pension increase amount unclear

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, November 4
Minister of Labor, Healthcare and Social Welfare Davit Sergeenko has said an increase in pensions is planned for 2015, but at the first stage the increase will be socially differentiated.

He stressed that new resources have been mobilized in the healthcare and social directions as per the amendments to the draft budget.

“The draft is final and it will be discussed in parliament on November 5. The parliament will define the amount of the average increase,” Sergeenko said.

To the question about the planned increase of pensions by 5 and 10 laris, the minister said there will be more of an increase.

"The amount of the average increase will be defined by the parliament. I can confirm that a raise of pensions is planned, but at the first stage it will be socially differentiated, namely, it will be oriented on the poor," said Sergeenko.

From September 1, 2015, pension benefits for Georgia’s socially vulnerable population will also increase up to 25 GEL.

Minister of Finance Nodar Khaduri said the extra amount each pensioner would receive would be determined by their level of vulnerability.

He noted the Health Ministry’s budget had increased by 25 million GEL and a portion of this would be spent on increasing pensions next year.

Khaduri said the state pension would increase for all citizens from 2016. Until then, only the country’s most vulnerable would enjoy more financial support.

Poverty remained one of the major concerns in Georgia, according to an assessment by the United Nations Development Program in Georgia. Despite a number of social programs implemented by the government in recent years, a significant part of the population still lived below the poverty line.

Khaduri also said teachers’ basic salary would increase by 50 GEL, while highly-qualified teachers would get an additional 200 GEL each month, starting from September 2015.