The Deputy Ministry of Welfare has cut off benefits from 3000 asylum seekers after they were found to be working – some legally, others illegally, Philenews reported on Thursday.
Deputy Minister Anastasia Anthousis has said that cheques and social security of some 100 to 150 asylum seekers are suspended almost on a daily basis for this same reason.
And that, right now, about 6500-7000 asylum seekers are receiving benefits from the state.
An expert evaluation was sought on whether money given to applicants as allowances while they were employed could be recovered.
This could be done only by withholding other amounts deposited in the form of an allowance in the account of these persons as an offset.
The Deputy Ministry , in collaboration with the Central Bank, is also working out an ambitious plan to limit the arrival of immigrants lured by the exploitation of benefits.
In addition, they are working on establishing a special credit card (visa) to which transfers of the asylum seekers’ benefits can be made.
The visa will allow the withdrawal of cash of only 20% of the amount they have in it and at the same time they won’t be allowed to transfer cash outside Cyprus.
In other words, the special visa will stop cheques from being sent to asylum seekers and allow for better supervision of benefits.
by Daphne Stavrides