One-off help: A sign of stability or a practice that must be stopped?

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In the last two years, during the pandemic, Serbia has raised 8.7 billion euros, which is over 18 percent of GDP, to help the economy and citizens, said Finance Minister Sinisa Mali in the Serbian Parliament.

“We fulfilled every promise we made in dinars and a day and showed how strong and responsible our state is, how strong and stable our finances are,” said Mali, explaining the Bill amending the Law on the Provisional Register of Serbian Citizens aged 16 to 29. which are paid financial aid to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fonet reported.

The law, which was adopted by the Assembly after the explanation, envisages that additional 100 euros will be paid to young people in the coming months.

Let us remind you, young people already received a one-time aid of 100 euros at the beginning of February.

Although the Minister points out that the grants of one-time aid are a sign that the state finances are stable, experts draw attention to their bad sides.

Social policy will be implemented in 2022 in part through non-selective benefits to large groups of residents, which is a practice that must be stopped, warns the Fiscal Council.

In previous years, this body has repeatedly analyzed non-selective payments of identical amounts to all adult citizens or all pensioners. All analyzes have shown that this practice is not good.

However, this year’s budget also includes a one-time aid of 20,000 dinars for all pensioners, regardless of their material status.

This payment will cost the state almost 300 million euros.

Instead of such benefits, a truly efficient and fiscally responsible social policy would mean that financial assistance is paid only to socially disadvantaged residents.

The Fiscal Council reminds that at the beginning of 2020, the Government adopted the umbrella Law on the Social Card, which envisages the unification of all relevant data on the material status of citizens in one place, Nova Ekonomija reports.