NICOSIA – Cyprus will distribute another 103 million euros ($110.91 million) in financial support for the most vulnerable to help households deal with soaring inflation exacerbated by the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
That brought the package of state assistance to some 192 million euros ($206.75 million) during the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and was approved by the Council of Ministers said Kathimerini
The total amount that will be spent through the end of August will reach almost 300 million euros ($323.05 million) which is about 1.5 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product of 22.1 billion euros ($23.8 billion) said government spokesman Marios Pelekanos.
The support includes extending a reduced Value Added Tax (VAT) on electricity bills and a cap on fuel prices as well as raising pensions to deal with inflation that’s the highest in 40 years.
The VAT on electric bills is being cut from 19 to 10 percent until Aug. 31 and those in the most vulnerable groups will have it reduced to 5 percent in a bid to help them cope with the rising cost of living.
The state will increase pensions for some 165,000 beneficiaries, and give vulnerable households one-off cash handouts based on their incomes and number of dependent persons, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides said. Based on their annual earnings, low-income families will be given a small lump sum between 60-150 euros ($64.60-$161.51) for every child under the age of 18, a pittance.
“No government can kill inflation at its root, as increasing liquidity in the market may feed inflationary pressures leading to a vicious cycle of price increases,” said Petrides, the report also added.
“Having this in mind, the government has introduced 11 measures to alleviate inflation pressure on low-income households,” stated the finance minister with inflation at 8.6 percent, the highest since a record 10.8 percent in 1981.