According to Public Defender’s Parliamentary Report, Number of Families Receiving Livelihood Allowance was Reduced
According tothe Public Defender's parliamentary report of 2015, the high number of applications submitted by socially vulnerable citizens and the results of their study refer to a number of problems in the country.
For a year now (from May 1, 2015) evaluation of socio-economic status of the families has been carried out by a new methodology. At the same time, the rating scores were gradated and amount of allowances was redefined. In particular, for a family member whose rating scores do not exceed 30 000, allowance was fixed at 60 GEL; those with rating scores from 30 000 to 57000 will get 50 GEL; those with rating scores from 57 000 to 60 000 will get 40 GEL and the citizens, who have scores from 60 000 to 65000, will get 30 GEL. In addition, any vulnerable family, the rating scores of which do not exceed 100000 scores, gets 10-GEL assistance for each child, which previously had not been considered. However, the 10-GEL assistance cannot be considered a sufficient measure for overcoming the poverty of children.
According to the data of the Social Services Agency, in December 2015, compared to the previous year, the number of families getting allowances was reduced by 16 475 and the number of population receiving allowances – by 31 737. In addition, the new methodology shows some flaws. In particular, the parquet in the houses located in the capital has a high coefficient. This does not allow proper identification of vulnerable groups and unreasonably increases the number of scores granted to the families. The report of 2015 also reveals other shortcomings and procedural violations.
In addition, some instances were observed when social programs of local governments are available only for families with the lowest rating scores. It should be taken into account that the families with relatively high scores might also have certain needs, especially given that these families are left beyond the livelihood allowances.
Considering the identified shortcomings, the Public Defender recommends the Government to review the new methodology of evaluation of the socio-economic conditions of vulnerable families. The Public Defender also calls on the local governments to take into view the needs of families with relatively high scores during planning social programs.