For some monthly state benefits, for others money spent in five minutes


For one-member family it amounts to 2174 denars, for two-member family – 2979 denars, for a family with three members 3784, 4558 amounts the state benefit for a four-member family, and for a five-member family 5393 denars.


The number of state benefit users in Kumanovo is decreased. This news was announced recently. But the Ministry for Labor and Social Policy says that the number of state benefit users is decreased generally in the whole state. The Department explains that one of the reasons for the decrease of the number of state benefit users is that the documents for the continuance of using it are not updated. For example, at the beginning of the year when the documents are being updated, the number of state benefit users was 5050, and after the end of the procedure – 4130 families, which mean 970 people, lost the right to state benefits.

But the update of the documents apparently was not the only reason for losing the right to state benefits. The last few months we were witnesses of cases when citizens lost their right to state benefits because the Public Revenue Office found incomes for which they haven’t reported the basis. In most of the cases it was about 100, 200 or even 500 denars. The case with the daily newspaper Vest was the most explicit, when a user lost the state benefits because he sent a recipe to a cooking show titled ‘Food and wine’ (Храна и вино) and won money for it.

– We can’t allow people to lose their right to monetary help only because they have 100, 200 or 500 denаrs on their account. We consider suggesting people who use state benefits to be able to win up to 10000 denars per year, and not to lose the help from the state. Because we are all aware that state benefits are very low, say from the Ministry for Labor and Social Policy.

The amount of the state benefits, according to the explanations forms the Ministry and the Centers for Social Work, is determined in Macedonia according to number of the members of the family. So, for one-member family it amounts to 2174 denars, for two-member family – 2979 denars, for a family with three members 3784, 4558 amounts the state benefit for a four-member family, and for a five-member family 5393 denars. Those amounts are given to the users who file a demand for monetary help for the first time. The citizens who have been using the state benefits for three years, get for 50% lower state benefits or half the amount.


How much time does one need to spend 2000 denars?

Starting from this lawful parameters and having in mind the lowest monetary help and also considering the fact that there are families in Macedonia who barely survive with 2000 and 3000 denars, we decided to ask random citizens from Skopje, Shtip, Kumanovo and Prilep how much time do they need to spend 2000 denars.

Suzana (42) from Skopje says that she spends that money for four days and she spends it mostly on food. Trajan (40) also from Skopje spends the same amount on one visit of the supermarket. This amount is enough for the spring renew and new flowers in Ljubinka’s (55) garden, while for Dzemile (35) for new curtains. Both say that they would spend 2000 denars for not even a day. Most of the random citizens we met in Shtip say that they mostly spend 2000 denars on food. What is interesting is the time in which they spend this amount of money. Nefka M. says that it happens to her to spend 2000 denars in 15 minutes on food which would last for ten days for her family. Nedzie O. (55) as she says needs 20 minutes to spend 2000 denars. She also says that she mostly spends it on food. Igbal A (25) spends 2000 denars in 5 minutes for buying a blouse or a dress. Asked the same question citizens of Prilep answered they spend this amount of money mostly on buying food, which usually lasts for several days. Samit says that with 2000 denars one can spend a whole week, if as he says money is spent rationally. Samit says that with that money he buys food for him and his family and it uses it seven to ten days. Sheherezada has a minor child and according to the needs she spend this amount of money for food which lasts for three to four days.

Citizens of Kumanovo gave different answers. One citizen says that he spends 2000 denars for one electricity bill an nothing else, another for one going out. A woman form Kumanovo claims that she can spend 2000 denars for two weeks but only for buying cigarettes. A fellow citizen point out the he spends 2000 denars on car fuel in one minute.


[box] Students on practice for state benefits

Students from the Institute for Social help at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University Ss. Cyril and Methodius will have practice in state institutions which do this kind of service, reported MIA at the beginning of March. The institutes, on the other hand will award eight scholarships to kinds from families which use state benefits. As the Agency reported that is because the University from Skopje and the Ministry for Labor and Social Policy signed a memorandum for collaboration which according to the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy Goran Ajdinski raises the level of collaboration between these two institutions.

– Until now there was practical training, but with this memorandum the same is being raised on a higher level. Now it will be exactly known what kind of practical work should be done by all four expert profiles – defectologist, psychologist, pedagogue and social worker. Moreover, it is foreseen for the Departments to give eight scholarships to the poor, two for each department. The memorandum foresees scholarships for the second cycle of studies for the employed in the Ministry for Labor and Social Policy, said Ajdinski adding that the agreed will start being implemented next year.[/box]

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