Social Security Benefits Expenditure
Between January and December 2022, spending on Social Security Benefits totalled €1,208.4 million, 7.2 per cent higher than the previous year. Higher expenditure was reported for both Contributory (€50.9 million) and Non-Contributory Benefits (€30.0 million) (Table 1).
Government spending towards Contributory Benefits amounted to €965.9 million, a 5.6 per cent rise from 2021. Pensions in respect of Retirement recorded the largest increase of €35.6 million, a result of 2,367 more persons in receipt of the Two-Thirds Pension. Further increases were registered under Pensions in respect of Widowhood (€10.2 million), Contributory Bonus (€8.3 million) and Benefits in respect of Industrial Injuries and Gratuities (€0.3 million). The rise in outlay was marginally offset by drops witnessed under Other Benefits (€1.6 million) and Pensions in respect of Invalidity (€1.2 million) (Table 2).
In 2022, €242.5 million went towards Non-Contributory Benefits, a 14.1 per cent increase in comparison to the previous year. An increase of €17.7 million was recorded under Total Supplementary Allowance, mainly on account of additional COLA payments to vulnerable families in December 2022. The restructuring of the In-Work Benefit, to include all eligible parents irrespective of application status, resulted in an increase in spending of €6.7 million. In addition, increases were also witnessed under Disability Pensions/Allowance (€4.8 million), Carers Allowances/Grants (€1.4 million), Assistance to help the Elderly Live Independently (€1.5 million) and Child Allowance (€1.0 million). On the other hand, lower outlay was reported for Total Social Assistance (€1.2 million), Non-Contributory Bonus(€1.0million), Medical Assistance (€0.7 million) and Age Pension (€0.2 million) (Table 3).
In comparison to 2021, an additional €34.7 million was spent on social security benefits between October and December 2022, amounting to €306.9 million. Contributory expenditure rose by €7.5 million, with the largest increase registered under Pensions in respect of Retirement (€5.5 million). Furthermore, spending towards Non-Contributory Benefits increased by €27.2 million, resulting from the growths witnessed under Total Supplementary Allowance (€13.5million) and Total In-Work Benefit (€7.3 million) (Tables 4 and 5).
Social Security Beneficiaries
During 2022, the largest number of Contributory beneficiaries was recorded under the Two-Thirds Pension (57,932). Sickness Benefit reported the highest increase among recipients, with 7,473 additional beneficiaries when compared to 2021. On the other hand, the biggest drop in recipients was registered under the COVID-19 Parent Benefit (1,161) (Table 2).
Children’s Allowance reported the highest number of Non-Contributory recipients, with 44,500 families in receipt of the benefit. The In-Work Benefit recorded the largest increase in beneficiaries at 17,365, while the largest decline in recipients was witnessed under In-Work Supplement (2,170) (Table 3). Similar scenarios were encountered during the final quarter of 2022, with the Two-Thirds Pension (56,042) and Children’s Allowance (41,794) being the most received Contributory and Non-Contributory Benefits, respectively (Tables 4 and 5).
January-December 2022 in euro
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