Welfare cuts bring few savings as jobless rate soars

A change in the social support system, which was designed to cut the state's welfare bill and tighten standards of eligibility for benefits, has been in force since July 1, but has not resulted in significant savings because of rising unemployment. Slovakia's jobless rate stood at 19.1% at the end of August.

Labour Ministry spokeswoman Jana Burdová said that while some people living on welfare had been judged to have "subjective reasons" for remaining jobless, and had thus been shifted to another (less generous) benefits category, the total number of people receiving benefits of some kind had not dropped.

At the moment, 280,000 Slovaks live on welfare (as opposed to unemployment insurance), of whom one-third have been receiving lower payments since July because they have been judged to have no 'objective' reason for remaining unemployed. Before the rules of eligibility were changed this summer, only 8.9% of recipients were found to have 'subjective' reasons for not taking a job.

Slovakia now spends about 900 million crowns ($22 million) a month on social benefits programmes, up 17% since a year ago. Over 90% of this money is spent on welfare handouts.

The Labour Ministry had hoped to save 300-350 million crowns this year through the welfare revisions, but now doubts this target will be met. Labour Minister Peter Magvaši has frequently said the changes in the law will motivate people to seek jobs more actively.

Top stories

The interactive exhibition Elements of Art is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Žilina Music Conservatory on November 18, 2021.

Weekend: US basketball players score big in Slovakia

A potential Christmas present, one hike, nice sports stories, and more. Dive into reading this week's roundup.


26. nov

News digest: Employers finally get manual for employee Covid testing

Bratislava starts the Christmas season online and the refurbishment of one of the biggest fountains in Slovakia. Tatra ski resorts have switched on their snow-making machines.


22 h
Christmas trees began appearing in the squares during the First Czechoslovak Republic and there is a touching Christmas story behind it.

Lockdown for just two weeks? Forget it, say experts

The experts advising the government expect some rules may lift before Christmas, but only for the vaccinated.


26. nov
Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marián Hossa prepares for a face off against the Florida Panthers during an NHL hockey game in March 2017.

The (in)conspicuous superstar that had to suffer to achieve great things: Marián Hossa

The Slovak hockey player has been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.


25. nov
Skryť Close ad