Skopje, 11th February 2014 (MIA) – Pensioners will be increased their pensions by Denar 600 in March this year. Funds in the amount of one billion eight hundred million denars are provided for this purpose in the Budget.

This was agreed today at the meeting held between the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Labour and Social Policy and the representatives of the Union of Associations of Pensioners.

– This makes us the only country, not only in the region, but also in Europe, which has managed, in such difficult times, when the consequences from the crisis are still felt, not only to protect the pensioners, not only not to increase the old-age limit and not only to regularly pay the pensions, but also to increase the pensions by an amount which is significant, taking into account the financial possibilities of the country. We have succeeded to increase the pensions in the coming 10 months, and it will be included in the base for the next year as well when, should there be a possibility, it is planned to additionally increase the pensions, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, pointed out at the press conference.

As he said, Budget liquidity is good and, therefore, pensions will continue to be paid on regular basis, social benefits will continue to be increased and all Budget commitments will continue to be paid on regular basis.

In addition to this measure, Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski also pointed out that the Government helps the pensioners have their living standard improved through series of other measures, such as reduction of the prices of pharmaceuticals, free treatment for those receiving lower pensions and free stay at spas.

– This shows that care for the pensioners, as the oldest category of citizens who have worked throughout their years of service, remain to be priority of this Government, Stavreski underlined.

Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Dime Spasov, underlined that, by increasing the pensions in March this year, average pension will increase by 62% compared to 2006, when it amounted to around Denar 7,683.

– The lowest pension in 2006 amounted to Denar 4,330, and pensions to be paid in March will amount to Denar 7,620, accounting for an increase of 76%, while the highest pension in 2006 amounted to Denar 27,606, and now it will amount to Denar 36,007, accounting for an increase of 30.43%, Spasov pointed out.

According to the pensioners, this is an important measure, since it contributes to improving the living standard.

– This means a lot to us, we are pleased with the fact that the increase in the number of employees with the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund creates conditions for regular payment of pensions, President of the Union of Associations of Pensioners of Macedonia, Dragi Argirovski, said.

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