Rīga has paid 40% more social benefits than last year

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In Rīga and several other municipalities surveyed by Latvian Radio December 14, the number of recipients of social benefits has increased. There has also been an increase in the number of poor and disadvantaged people.

In Rīga, in the 11 months of this year, more than 25 thousand people have received benefits.

“The number of social benefit recipients has grown compared to this year's 11 months with last year's 11 months, an increase of 4,159 people. We hadn't planned such a big increase. There have recently been budget amendments and such benefits have been provided with additional funding,” said Antuāna Kalvišķe, spokeswoman for the Welfare Department of the Rīga City Council.

This year the municipality has already spent nearly €17 million in benefits. The increase is more than 40% compared with last year.

More than 14 thousand people have received housing benefits. Compared with last year, growth is 74%.

There is also an increase in the number of recipients of social benefits in the regions. In Ludza, more than 16 thousand people received housing benefits this year. They were paid a total of €376,988. A year ago, during that period, the local government spent half that on housing benefits: €181,108.

“As compared to last year, this year [the number of benefits] has increased significantly. We see almost double growth. I think that certainly these figures would be even higher if there were no energy support from the state. When receiving bills for centralized heat supply, relief for the population is also applied,” said Lilita Gorbunova-Kozlova, head of the social services of the municipality of Ludza.

This year 798 Ludza residents received a heating allowance, while last year 156 people received the allowance during that period. An equally significant increase in the costs of the municipality for this benefit. Last November they were €7102, but this year they are €52 416 over the same time period.

There has also been an increase in the number of poor and disadvantaged people. This year, over 16 thousand inhabitants had the status for at least one month. The increase is by almost 5,000 people. Kalvišķe explained that the potential increase is also due to the arrival of Ukrainian civilians in Rīga, because they can also apply for this status. `

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