Bulgaria: From 2023, the Poverty Line will be 504 Leva (257 EUR)
From 2023, the poverty line will be increased to BGN 504
"With the increase in the poverty line, the accumulated inflationary processes are completely covered. With the proposed 22% increase, the growth of the poverty line is significantly ahead of the level of these processes up to now," said the Acting Minister of Labor and Social Policy Lazar Lazarov at a briefing after the meeting of the National Council for tripartite cooperation.
Thus, from 2023, the poverty line will be BGN 504 (257 EUR), instead of the current BGN 413.
Lazarov explained that using the official statistics of the NSI, the level of inflation in August 2022 compared to August 2021 is 17.7%, the average annual inflation is 11.7%, and the one that has accumulated since the beginning of the year - 12.6%.
During the council, the Deputy Minister of Labor Nadia Klisurka said that the cabinet proposes the increase according to the methodology, which is based on the Eurostat study "Statistics of incomes and living conditions".
"Determining the poverty line according to this will have an impact on financial support for people with disabilities," commented Klisurska, quoted by BTA. She explained that all persons who have a degree of disability above 50 percent (over 670,000 people) will receive financial support based on the poverty line.
The defined poverty line will also have an impact on the social assistance system, Klisurska also said. She recalled that the European Commission recommended to Bulgaria that the poverty line and social assistance be linked, and not that social assistance be based on the guaranteed minimum income. This is set as a serious reform in the Recovery and Sustainability Plan, added the Deputy Minister.
During the council, Asya Goneva from the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITU) commented that a 22% increase is "something that impresses", but the union proposes that the poverty line should be BGN 541.
At the briefing, Luboslav Kostov from CITU explained that the Confederation did not support the proposal because it was the result of a methodology that CITU demanded to be revised. "This methodology does not take into account inflation in the small consumer basket, and income from three years ago is taken as a base," he said.
Vanya Grigorova from the Confederation of Labor “Podkrepa” stated that they support the increase in the size of the poverty line, but believes that the methodology based on the Eurostat study has defects. "We think that the methodology should be changed," she said and added that the caretaker government cannot change the methodology.
The regulation on working hours, breaks and vacations was also reviewed. It will include the European directives, according to which fathers have the right to a leave to raise a child up to the age of 8.
The leave can be used in parts. Men who have not used parental leave transferred by the mother (adoptive mother) will have the right to a leave.
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