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The request for overabundance children has been accepted, the President announced – The maternity allowance is also coming

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Αποδεκττο ατ&eta ;μαγιαυπερπολτενουσανακο νσορεκο πΙδμα τοκτοΙ

The assurance that the request concerning the super-children has been accepted and will pass through the Council of Ministers, the President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulidis, said today in his speech, noting that “the decision will be taken by the Government”.

During his speech at the Celebration of the Mother of Many Children in Nicosia, after referring to 14 actions implemented to support the family with many children, he also pointed out that “in a few days we will announce the maternity allowance which is important”.

Referring to the tax reform of the state, he said that it is ongoing and there will be what was “erroneously abolished and there will be the connection with the family¬.

At the same time, “we will use the opportunity by welcoming the representative of the corresponding Greek organization, to inform you that we are proceeding with a proposal to the Greek Government, in order to sign a bilateral agreement with which holders of a multi-child card in Cyprus can use it in Greece” , noted.

“My assurance today before all of you is that in the context of the social dialogue with the All-Cypriot Organization of Multiple Children, which is already underway, our policies to support the large family will be further strengthened,” he concluded.

< strong>Same as the President's speech

It is always with great pleasure and emotion that I participate in events honoring mothers, especially an event like today where we honor mothers of many children. Mothers who gave birth and raised 5 or more children, mothers who sent 4 children to the National Guard – I welcome the presence of the Chief of the National Guard – elderly mothers who gave birth to 4 children or who sent 3 of their children to the National Guard, just like my own mother.

I stand before these mothers with feelings of gratitude and pride for all that they have offered and continue to offer still through sacrifices and struggles in society.

My presence here today – along with the Minister for Defence, the Under Secretary for Social Welfare, the Equality Commissioner and other officials of the State – among many others, it highlights the recognition of this invaluable contribution. Undoubtedly, the mother of many children needs the practical support of the state through a combination of services and benefits. As a Government, but   myself personally as I come from a large family and am the father of a large family, we have placed the support of large families, but also the policies concerning the large family and children, in general, very high on the priorities us.  

It is an issue that should concern us all, beyond statements, events, nice words. Today the birth rate in our country is 1.3%. In order to replenish the population in 25 years, the birth rate must be at least 2.1%. So, we all have a lot of work to do, State, Legislature, you who keep making your demands to meet this huge challenge.

In our one year of Governance we have made significant progress and certainly the political will is strong to continue implementing our Governance Programme.

You referred to 12 of our decisions in 15 months, almost one decision a month . If we continue in this way, at least until 2028 there will be at least 50 decisions.

So, listening to your suggestions, most of which are also included in our Governance Program, we started this course :

·      In October 2023, the Government decided on a 5% increase in the Child Allowance, which also accepted the increase in the ATA. It concerns approximately 60,000 families with a total cost  3.7 million.

·      In the same month, in response to your request, the Government approved the inclusion of students with large families in the Child Allowance by paying the 50% of Child Benefit, spending 3.3 million per year,

·      In May 2023, a benefit was granted to families with three or more children totaling about 2 million, benefiting 25 thousand children.

·       In the same period, the honorary allowance for mothers with many children was increased for all income categories. They benefited more than 16 thousand mothers with many children with an annual expenditure of around 800,000 euros. 

·      In June 2023, again responding to your request, the Government approved the extension of the Tuition Subsidy and Feeding Scheme for children up to 4 years of age to all beneficiaries of the Child Benefit, with subsidy of up to 80% of kindergarten and nursery school fees. The cost of the Plan amounts to 16 million euros per year.  After this decision, the beneficiaries increased by 40%.

·      At the same time, the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare, which is responsible for coordinating our policy on the issues of large children, is working on and the Deputy Minister will announce very soon, a new Tuition Subsidy Scheme and Feeding Children up to 4 years and 5 months with the same criteria I mentioned above, which will be implemented in September 2024, with a total cost of 3 million euros.

·      In February 2024, a lump sum was granted to the beneficiaries of the Child Benefit based on criteria of 100 euros for each first child, increasing by 50 euros for each additional child, with a maximum amount of 250 euros . 

·      At the same time, and taking into account that the enhanced support of the state to working parents and more to mothers who take the biggest share of responsibility, is most importantly, the Government has extended maternity leave by one month so that new working mothers can spend more time with their child,

·      At the same time, we increased the maternity leave for the cases of hospitalization of newborn children, by two weeks.

·       We included self-employed parents among the beneficiaries for the provision of parental leave, so that no working parent is deprived of the time they can spend with their children,

·      According to your request, we speed up the examination time for the maternity benefit, and it is now paid to the beneficiaries within a month. In a very short time we will announce an increase in the maternity allowance, which will increase as the children grow.

·      To what I mentioned above, the sponsorship for the purchase of a new electric vehicle for families with many children should be added, which increased this year from 9,000 to 20,000 euros and due to the increased interest, an extension of the Plan was announced for even more families.

Furthermore, as part of strengthening family-friendly policies and supporting children with quality care services, we are strengthening childcare services by creating 30 new or expanding existing nurseries under the Recovery and Resilience Plan, something that started with the previous Government,  which will also operate during the evening hours to meet the needs of the modern family.

In the same context, in 2023 the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare subsidized the operation of 61 nurseries and 65 Protection Centers and Employment of Children with a total cost of approximately 3 million.

You have made two requests today. Because I want when I promise something to be able to respond, I announce that your first request concerning the over-multiple children is accepted and will go through the Council of Ministers, it is considered that the decision will be taken by the Government.

The second is about that which we will process and then I will answer you responsibly. I told you that we will announce in a very few days the maternity allowance which is important.

Also, state tax reform is ongoing and there will be what was wrongly repealed, and there will be a connection with the family, while we will also take the opportunity by welcoming the representative of the respective Greek organization, to announce to you that we are proceeding with a proposal to the Greek Government, in order to sign a bilateral agreement with which multi-child card holders in Cyprus to be able to utilize it in Greece.

My assurance today before all of you is that in the context of the social dialogue with the All-Cypriot Organization of Multiple Children, which is already underway, they will be strengthened even more our policies to support the large family.

And precisely because your Organization is our closest partner, on the basis of my announcement last year at the same celebration, this year we also increased the amount of the sponsorship to the Pancypriot Organization of Multiple Children in order to honor more mothers with multiple children. .

I feel our debt to mothers with many children is many times over. I know very well as a child of a large family myself, but also as a father of many children, the needs, challenges, struggles and sacrifices required within a large family. Of course, whatever the sacrifices and needs, nothing, nothing can replace the blessing of living and growing up in a large family.

Dear mothers of large children, I express to you my appreciation and my undivided respect for your valuable contribution to the building of our society and on behalf of the State I want to assure you that we will always be by your side.

Source: www.philenews.com

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