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Half of GMI recipients ‘working off the books’

After finding that half of the people cited for undeclared labour were also receiving Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) subsidiaries, the Labour Ministry has warned applicants it will be cracking down on people getting ‘under the table’ pay for undeclared work.

The warning was also extended to people registered with and seeking employment through the government’s Public Employment Services while already engaged in undeclared work.

The Ministry warned that GMI subsidies would immediately be halted for people found to be exploiting the system and/or failing to provide all the relevant documentation from the government’s subsidy management agency.

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The GMI is a top-up benefit calculated as the difference between a pre-specified minimum threshold set by the law and the actual income of the recipient.

This minimum threshold varies and is determined through reference budget methods aiming to ensure recipients will have an acceptable standard of living.

The warning came as the Ministry revealed that half of the charges of undeclared labour made since the start of the year involved people who were otherwise entitled to the GMI. Most of the people caught out were employed as cleaners, as staff at restaurants, and on construction sites, Phileleftheros reported on Friday.

Currently, some 50,000 people in 30,955 households in Cyprus are entitled to the GMI, including people who are unemployed, self-employed or work for a very low wage and all whom had not received state support in the past.

The state spent €255 million on the subsidy in 2016, the first year it was fully introduced.

The Human Resources Development Authority (HRDA,) meanwhile, has extended the deadline for a new training initiative to October 5.

The initiative sees unemployed people trained to take care of people who are paraplegic or tetraplegic. The applicants chosen to participate will be paid €125 per week and have payments made to the Social Insurance and Social Cohesion Funds throughout the 75 hours theoretical and 25 hours of practical training.

Visit the HRDA’s website www.anad.org.cy for more information.


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