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Reform of social funds is procedure of extreme emergency (Youssef Chahed)

Published the:  23/03/2018

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(TAP) – Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said Friday, that the reform of social funds is a procedure of extreme urgency, explaining that this system is in danger because of the financial situation described as alarming.

Chahed added during a plenary session at the House of People's Representatives (HPR) on the government's hearing on the country's general situation that the great difficulties faced by social welfare funds require nearly 100 million dinars a month to cover his deficit, which is absolutely impossible.

This deficit, regretted the Prime Minister has strongly influenced the quality of benefits provided by the social funds to citizens.

Chahed also pointed out that next week he will ask the social partners, a final position on the draft decree on the reform of the National Social Security Fund (CNSS) and the draft law on the National Pension and Social Security Fund (CNRPS) before submitting the draft law to the Cabinet meeting for adoption.

"Today, we have the opportunity to exchange points of view and discuss, but the day to take action approaches," said Chahed, recalling that the debts of public institutions towards the social funds have reached nearly 600 million dinars.

The reforms must also concern public institutions in crisis, Chahed added, saying that the majority suffer from a difficult financial situation.

Chahed insisted, at the same time, on the imperative to preserve the achievements of the social security system rooted in Tunisia since independence with the creation of the CNRPS and the CNAM, witnesses, he said, of entrenching the value of solidarity between generations.

The government had already begun the necessary reforms, notably after having imposed a solidarity social contribution (Finance Act 2018) in favour of the social funds, but, he felt, this measure is insufficient.

The state assumes a social role, in the first place, said Chahed, pointing out that the programme of "Amen Social" included in the bill submitted to the deputies is based on the principle of support for vulnerable categories and is articulated around three axes, namely a minimum income for each Tunisian family, social and health coverage and assistance to promote decent housing.

This programme, explained the Prime Minister stipulates to promote a minimum income to families who have no fixed income (no family member works) by mobilising an allowance between 180 and 210 dinars. The adoption of this system will also increase the pensions of pensioners whose number is estimated at 125 thousand retirees (an increase ranging from 120/150 dinars to 180 dinars), according to Chahed.

The increase in the budget devoted to needy families (100 million dinars) aims to promote a minimum income guaranteed by law to every Tunisian family.

Referring to the health component, Chahed said that the goal towards 2020, is to provide health coverage to every Tunisian quoting in this regard, the start of the generalisation of basic health coverage for the benefit of the unemployed.

With regard to assistance to families for decent housing, thanks to government-sponsored programmes such as "first housing" and "social housing", a new measure in the budget law will allow income-earners non-fixed to benefit from a housing credit, further highlighted Chahed.

This measure will provide the opportunity for some 500 thousand taxi drivers, farmers and traders…to benefit from a housing credit, said Youssef Chahed.