The Centre for Democracy Foundation said on Tuesday that half a million people in Serbia live in absolute poverty and more than two million people live at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
The organization’s researcher Sarita Bradas told the Beta news agency that those people don’t have the money to meet basic needs, adding that increasingly fewer people have social security. She said that 226,897 Serbian citizens were recipients of social security payments in 2019 which is 10 percent less than in 2012. She said the number of people receiving child care payments was 28 percent lower than in 2012, standing at 226,289.
“The Serbian Parliament adopt a social card law which does not provide a way out of poverty instead of adopting documents to establish a social security system which would provide protection from poverty and social exclusion as well as dignified living conditions,” she said.
The law was introduced to create centralized records on social and economic status to make social security services more efficient, the Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs Ministry said.
Bradas said that data on the impoverished part of the population shows that most of them do not have access to social security aid. She said that just 3.1 percent of the population received financial aid.
The data on the inadequacy of social cash benefits, according to Bradas, should be a signal to decision-makers that it is necessary to take steps to change the situation and collect updated data not only on the beneficiaries of social assistance programmes but also on the general population.
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