Thousands of low-pensioners will have to further tighten their belt as poverty allowance will be either completely disappear or cut to a thin pocket money of just 35 euro per month.
Eligible to poverty allowance EKAS will be only those with a monthly pension of up to 585 euro gross or much lower than 550 in net as a 6% is being subtracted for the health care. And even those will see the allowance undergo a 70% cut, and decrease from 115 euro down to 35. The measure will affect 185,000 people.
Pensioners couple who receive currently 230 per month, will stun to see that the little extra aid will be decreased to just 70 euros.
Pensioners with an annual income of more then 7,023 euros will be excluded from the poverty allowance. This will affect 50,000 people by December 21st, where new income criteria for EKAS eligibility go into effect.
Eligibility criteria were 7,972 euro annual income or 664.33 euros per month. Now this is decreased to 7,022 annual income or 585 euro per month.
Pension associations have announced a rally in Athens for Friday at 5:00 pm to protest the ongoing austerity cuts.
By 2019, the poverty allowance will be totally erased. This is the agreement between Greece and its lenders in the context of the third bailout.
However, if the broadening of the tax basis will indeed go into effect in 2019, then pensioners, in fact the low pensioners will suffer further income cuts.
At the same time, inflation increases and one has to seek ways how to come through the month. Not to mention that a large part of pensioners need to pay from own pocket monthly expenses for medication. Beg? Steal? or Borrow?
PS When EKAS was first cut in 2011, some low-pensioners of just 480 euros per month found themselves in the dire position to cut first of all the heating expenses. Then they could not pay utility bills. And later their medication. Three years later, the state started to pay again the EKAS but for some of them it was simply too late.