The unified digital system of the Labour Ministry is expected to be ready by September and that means all applications for allowances and other benefits will have to be submitted electronically.
The recommendations of the Audit Service on the electronic submission of applications for all benefits is what prompted the Ministry to make new plans, according to Labour Minister Zeta Emilianides.
Yesterday, she also told the House Committee on Public Expenditure Control, which discussed the 2017 Audit Report along with a special report for her Ministry, that procedures are already in place to set up a unified digital system for electronic submission of applications.
And that this is expected to be completed in six months’ time. She then stressed that the electronic submission of applications will lead to faster and more efficient checks.
The Minister also informed MPs of the new Minimum Guaranteed Income computerised system which is in place, explaining that it provides for enhanced audits of submitted applications.
The system also allows ministry officials to have access to an applicants’ banking data. Moreover, Land Registry data is there to be checked to determine the value of real estate property of applicants.
Today, 250,000 individuals in Cyprus receive benefits of a total of €800 million. Beneficiaries are included in the registry of allowances maintained by the Ministry.
The Committee heard that recipients of the minimum guaranteed income today are some 20,000, while in 2017 the state spent €250 million on this benefit.
At the same time, proposals are discussed on the issue of housing needs of asylum seekers with the Minister pointing out that there is a big difference between a homeless person and a home seeker.