Suspension of Recreation Component from the Social Packages: Causes and Consequences
13.07.2016
11:00
“The Ministry of Finance aims to provide funds to the state budget and that is why it proposed a suspension of recreation component of the social package for state employees," Mane Tandilyan, member of “Bright Armenia” Party, said this during the discussion on “Suspension of Recreation Component from the Social Packages: Causes and Consequences” at Media Center.

Accountant Tandilyan said that this year there was an incomplete collection of tax revenues. "In 2015 an amount of about 75 billion AMD was incomplete in the budget. I quickly calculated how much it would imply if 152 thousand state employees allocated about 72 thousand AMD on an annual basis, it is about 11 billion AMD," Mane Tandilyan said, noting that 11 billion sum comprises 15% of the incomplete amount.

"A few more savings like this and tax collection problem will be solved, our budget will have the same look again, and the ratios will be the same with GDP, we will become creditworthy again and will be able to attract credit resources again,» the speaker said.  

He stressed that the Ministry of Social Welfare does not make such a proposal, as the main users of the recreational component of the social package are teachers, doctors, some other civil servants. "When they cut the money of people whose income is 50-60 thousand AMD per month, especially in terms of talking about teachers, and explain it by abuses, I can understand who are the people who are abusing," the accountant said.

Tandilyan said, if people take the cash and do not go for holiday, it means that they definitely need the money because their families have a problem with inadequate nutrition and public utilities.

MP, member of the Standing Committee on Social Policy Lyudmila Sargsyan emphasized that the social package was a unique positive program, which was implemented by the government and civil servants actually need it. According to the MP, the government should expand the scope of the application of this package, instead of suspending one of the components of the program, which is unacceptable. Lyudmila Sargsyan agrees with Mane Tandilyan that it was solely the problem of budget resources and incomplete tax collection, which, however, can have a very negative impact for the beneficiaries.

“We know that civil servants cannot organize recreation with their own means. This was an opportunity to have holidays for 2-3 days in Armenia, and the funds would be again left in the country. What is the fault of a civil servant that works all year round, expects this support, and he is deprived of it? This was an opportunity for people to have holidays not in Georgia but in Armenia. If a teacher cannot relax in the summer, we will see the result at the school in September.”

Lawyer Norayr Norikyan recalled that the first article of the Constitution stipulates that Armenia is a social state, then noticed that it is not reflected in our reality and the government's decision is a vivid example of that. "People need to demand from the government more instead of obtaining the package in legal means. The legislation does not fully regulate and provide legal safeguards. Though the Constitution stipulates the right to strike, it is not a guarantee that they will achieve success," he said.

Arevik Sahakyan, Program coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to areviksahakyan@mail.ru

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