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Social protection expenditure up for third consecutive year

17/01/2020 10:51

Total expenditure for social protection in Cyprus was up in 2017 for the third consecutive year following a significant drop in 2014 by about €620 million, to €3.51 billion.

The Cyprus Statistical Service released Thursday the results of the Social Protection Survey, which is based on the principles and rules determined by the European System of Integrated Social PROtection Statistics (ESSPROS).

According to the data, social protection expenditure in Cyprus as a percentage of the GDP, reached 18.5% in 2017, compared to 19.4% in 2016, which corresponds to €3,713.4 million in 2017, compared to €3,658.8 million in 2016.

The most significant functions were those of old age and sickness/healthcare, which combined, constituted 66.8% of the social protection benefits for 2017, compared to 65.8% in 2016.

The greatest share of old age benefits, which comprise both cash benefits and lump sum benefits, as well as old age benefits in kind, concerns periodic pensions which amounted to €1,611.8 million and which constituted 91.6% of the total old age benefits.

“It is worth noting, that the €1,561.9 million of the periodic pensions that were granted to beneficiaries in 2017, were non-means tested, that is to say without verification of the recipients’ financial situation,” a Statistical Service press release says.