Tsipras: Government to distribute 1.4 bln euros in one-off handouts this December

The government will distribute one-off welfare benefits totaling 1.4 billion euros, more than double that paid out last year (600 million euros), which was made possible by the economy’s outperformance, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a televised address on Monday night.

The social groups eligible for the benefit are the unemployed, the young and low income pensioners and will depend on income, assets and family situation.

Out of the total amount, the 720 million euros will be distributed as an untaxed aid and the relevant bill will be tabled in parliament in coming days. The benefit will be paid out to beneficiaries in December, the prime minister said.

Tsipras said that Greece had outpeformed its bailout target for a primary surplus – excluding debt servicing costs – of 1.75 percent of gross output in 2017 and its performance “was surprisingly good”.

“For a second year, we are in a position to distribute a social dividend to the people who need it most. Better prepared and more effective this year, we will be able to pay out an even bigger amount,” he said.