Skopje, 29th September 2013 (MIA) – Pensioners should be certain of Government policies, the proof thereof being the announced five-percentage increase of average pension next year, thus reaching Denar 11,000 and being higher by 50% compared to 2006.

This was announced by Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, at Sunday’s meeting with the management of the Union of Associations of Pensioners, also attended by the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Dime Spasov.

– We are announcing once again that they should be certain of Government policies and that the Government will continue to increase pensioners, Vice Prime Minister Stavreski said following the meeting, reiterating that 288,000 pensioners would have their pensions increased with the March payment next year.

According to him, this was undertaken in conditions when the Budget of the Republic of Macedonia faces challenges from the European crisis, however, as he underlined, the Government believed that protecting the living standard of pensioners was a priority. We have managed to set aside funds so as to increase pensions.

He also announced that efforts would be made, with all possible measures and policies, to provide assistance as much as the circumstances provide for it.

– We have an excellent cooperation and I believe the Government will be also able to continue, after 2014, with the policies on improvement of the pensioners’ living standard and pension increase. For illustration purposes only, average pension in 2013 increased by 50% compared to the level in 2006. Average pension amounted to Denar 7,683 then, while now it amounts to Denar 11,565. This shows we really take care of the pensioners, Minister Stavreski said.

Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Dime Spasov, underlined that pension increase was not the only measure the Government applied to improve the living standard of pensioners. –

– In addition to increasing the pensions by 5% starting March next year, additional Denar 35 million is appropriated in the budget of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy for the Project on Spa and Climate Recreation for around 5,500 pension beneficiaries who are provided this service free of charge. The Project is of particular interest to the pensioners. They showed huge interest this year. Around 24,000 pensioners applied at the public announcement and we expect for interest of pension beneficiaries to continue in the next years, and to again meet them halfway with this Project, Spasov pointed out, adding that other measures would also continue to be applied, such as the announced construction of homes for the aged.

President of the Union of Associations of Pensioners, Dragi Argirovski, welcomed all measures the Government undertakes, assessing them as positive and being of interest to the pensioners.

– We are receiving positive news for increase of pensions starting March next year. It is good that the Project on Spa and Climate Recreation for Pension Beneficiaries, as well as reduction of prices of pharmaceuticals, continues. It is important that starting from New Year, all pensioners, receiving below-average pensions, are also provided free-of-charge hospital treatment, Agrirovski underlined.

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