Bulgaria’s caretaker government has allocated 72 million leva to pay an “Easter supplement” of 70 leva each to pensioners whose monthly pension payments are below the official poverty line of 504 leva, the interim administration announced on April 6.
This will mean payments to about 1.2 million people, about half of Bulgaria’s pensioners.
For many years, it has been the practice of a succession of Bulgarian governments to pay “bonuses” to pensioners at Easter and Christmas.
Caretaker Prime Minister Gulub Donev said that the 48th National Assembly had limited the possibilities for the caretaker government to finance special spending “which is the main reason why we are having difficulty in finding a legislative possibility to provide the necessary finance from the Budget for Easter supplements to pensions.
“We understand that a large part of pensioners are in a difficult financial situation. The pension supplement is a type of social support for the most vulnerable,” Donev said.
“It is not part of the pension and does not depend on the social security contribution. The principle in the EU is that social measures are aimed at the most vulnerable groups in society. Without doubt this for the adults with a pension below the poverty line, which is more than half of the pensioners in our country,” he said.
Donev said that he understood that the caretaker government’s decision would be perceived as unfair by pensioners who would not receive the additional sum, especially those who receive just more than 504 leva a month.
“I can assure you that this was the fairest possible solution to the situation, in which the country currently is,” he said.
Source: The Sofia Globe