The situation facing the Roma population in Slovakia is a social and not a fiscal issue, reads an analysis by the Institute for Economic and Social Studies (INESS) released on October 22.
The analysis looked into statistics from the Labour, Social Affairs and Family Centre, social insurer Sociálna Poisťovňa and the Atlas of Roma Communities, according to which there are 403,000 Roma living in Slovakia (7.4 percent of the total population).
“Fiscal costs recorded in districts where Roma constitute two-thirds of population equal 2.2 percent of public expenditures or €578 million, with recipients being not just exclusively Roma,” INESS wrote as quoted by the TASR newswire. According to the analysis, some €270 million – or just 1 percent – of all public expenditures is paid in the form of welfare to all eligible recipients; and that means not only Roma.
Families with more than four children receive a total of €17 million via welfare payments and overall €15 million yearly in child allowances. “Similarly, this figure represents only a drop in the bucket of public finances, seeing as the state deficit in 2014 alone amounts to a sum 147-times larger than that,” INESS stressed.
Based on statistics and calculations, INESS estimates that the child allowances are currently paid for more than 160,000 Roma children and together equal approximately €44 million yearly. According to INESS, the analysis thus disproves the myth that Roma represent the gravest problem of public finances in Slovakia.
“The Roma issue is not a fiscal, but rather a social problem and it is in this dimension where solutions must be sought,” INESS director Richard Ďurana said, as quoted by TASR.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
23. Oct 2014 at 14:00