Madina Abylkasymova, Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, reported on the results of the work carried out by the ministry at the government hour in the Mazhilis Parliament of Kazakhstan devoted to the implementation of targeted social assistance.
As the head of the Ministry of Labor noted, the main indicators reflecting the social development of Kazakhstan demonstrate a positive trend.
If in 1996 the poverty level in Kazakhstan was 34.6%, then in the second quarter of 2018 it was 4.7%.
At the same time, the average per capita income has increased: from 2001 to 2017, it increased by 1.5 times, reaching 67,321 tenges.
In order to provide social support to precisely those groups of the population that need it, updates in the social policy of the state are necessary.
In this regard, from January 1, 2018, a new procedure for providing targeted social assistance (TSA) for low-income families was introduced.
Minister Abylkasymova explained in detail the innovations envisaged for the provision of state support.
“Now, able-bodied members of low-income families are provided with not only monetary assistance, but also mandatory employment assistance. TSA in the new format is divided into 2 types: unconditional and conditional cash assistance. Unconditional cash assistance is provided in the form of monthly allowances to families with disabled citizens. The conditional monetary assistance is intended for families where there is at least one able-bodied family member, and it is provided that the family makes a social contract and faithfully fulfills its conditions, ”said Madina Abylkasymova.
The social contract is for a period of 6 months with the possibility of its extension for an additional six months. According to the contract, social services provide measures to promote employment and, if necessary, social adaptation, as well as pay benefits, and able-bodied family members participate in the measures of employment offered to them.
Thus, support for low-income citizens becomes complex: these are cash payments, and measures to promote employment — referrals for training, youth practice, and social jobs. Also, the possibility of obtaining a microcredit for starting a business or expanding an existing business is provided. In addition, the needy citizens who find themselves in a difficult life situation are provided with measures of social adaptation.
In total, in 2018 for the introduction of the new format of TSA provided 28.9 billion tenges. For 9 months of 2018, the number of payments to TSA amounted to 19.5 billion tenges.
To date, 97.3 thousand families of 504 thousand people have become the recipients of TSA of the new format. Of these, about 330 thousand - in rural areas, 173 thousand - in urban areas.
The minister noted that a significant number of recipients of social assistance are families with children. They currently account for 41% of the total number of beneficiary families.
In order to enhance the effectiveness of state support, when appointing a new TSA format, social protection agencies develop individual plans for each low-income family to get out of difficult life situations.
This approach gives positive results.
“Of the total number of able-bodied recipients of conditional cash assistance, more than 51 thousand people or 70% are involved in employment measures. I note that in employment promotion measures, permanent employment dominates. 37.2 thousand people, which is 72.2%, were employed in permanent jobs, ”the minister said.
Madina Abylkasymova also stressed that the ministry had begun to work out proposals for further improving the new format of targeted social assistance. The main innovations will be the increase in its size, as well as the optimization of the list of documents required for obtaining state support.