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Government announces EUR 1 billion social and economic measures package for addressing Covid-19 crisis

Emergency epidemic situation to be extended by one month

Photo: BGNES

After a meeting of the council of the ruling coalition, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov gave a briefing to announce a financial assistance package for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic crisis. The package, costing a total of over EUR 1 billion, will be targeted at pensioners, the unemployed, medical staff and businesses.

Staff costs for the authorities entrusted with coping with the consequences of the pandemic are to go up by 30%. These are the structures of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Interior, the National Health Insurance Fund, the National Social Security Institute etc. Payment for night work and overtime for frontline workers is to go up. School and child healthcare, care homes for the elderly and for the disabled will receive additional financial support from the state.

Pensioners are to receive a 50 leva (EUR 25) supplement to their pensions for three consecutive months. The minimum unemployment benefits are to go up from EUR 4.6 (9 leva) to EUR 6.14 (12 leva), and the payout deadline will be extended by three months.

The package also includes means for freelance artists, for whom a little under EUR 8 million (15 million leva) has been earmarked.

The economic measures envisage money for stimulating local and foreign investors, support for tour operators and incentives for internal tourism.

The proposed sum for the package of social measures envisaged is EUR 595 million (1 billion 163 million leva), and for the economic measures – EUR 374 million (731 million leva).

The money will come from the fiscal reserve and no loans will, for the time being, be taken out, the prime minister said. The package comes into effect on 1 August, 2020.

The emergency epidemic situation is to be extended by one month, Boyko Borissov added.

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