Statistics released yesterday by NSO revealed that government expenditure on social security benefits rose by 6.7 per cent during the first six months of this year, driven mainly by outlays on retirement pensions.
According to the NSO, total expenditure on social security benefits between January and June amounted to €354.3 million, an increase of €22.2 million over the corresponding period last year.
This year’s increase was reflected mainly by higher expenditure on contributory benefits amounting to €21.1 million. At the same time, spending on non-contributory benefits increased by €1.1 million.
The increase in contributory benefits was the result of a €14.8 million growth in retirement pensions, which totalled to €169.4 million during the first six months of this year.
The NSO explained that this increase was underpinned by outlays on the two-thirds pension, in part reflecting a rise in the number of beneficiaries.
Invalidity pensions decreased during the same period by €1.8 million, and so did benefits relating to occupational accidents.
Widows’ pensions registered an increase of €2.1 million whilst the Contributory Bonus rose by €5.6 million.