ABU DHABI - President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has directed the restructuring of the Social Welfare Programme of low-income citizens into an integrated programme worth AED28 billion instead of AED14 billion.
The move aimed at raising the annual social support allocation from AED2.7 billion to AED5 billion.
The directive of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed embodies his keenness to support low-income Emirati families to ensure family and social stability and provide the citizens with a decent life.
The programme, overseen by the Ministry of Community Development, covers various social aspects for national families with limited income, including the head of the family allowance, the wife allowance, and the children allowance. The programme also covers financial support for housing and other basic needs such as food, water, electricity and fuel, in addition to temporary financial support for unemployed job seeker, and unemployed citizens over the age of 45.
Introducing new allowances: In detail, the programme has introduced four new allowances: housing allowance, university education allowance, the allowance for unemployed citizens over the age of 45, and the allowance for the unemployed job seekers.
- Housing allowance The new programme includes a housing allowance between AED1,500 to AED2,500 per month until the family obtains government housing.
Applicants who live with their parents or any other family are entitled to 60% of these amounts. This allowance does not apply to those who obtain government housing subsidy or own a house registered in their names. Beneficiaries will stop receiving this allowance once acquiring government housing.
- University education allowance An allowance of AED3,200 per month will be allocated to outstanding high school students enrolled in university studies (according to the requirements of the Education and Human Resources Council).
The allowance also includes students enrolled in diploma and university education programmes according to the allowances of children for each family (between AED2,400 and AED800) up to the age of 25.
- Allowance to unemployed citizens over the age of 45 It is one of the new financial subsidies within the social welfare programme, where a fixed subsidy is granted starting from AED2000 to AED5000 per month according to the age of the unemployed citizens.
- Allowance for unemployed job seekers This allowance extends for a period of six months, and amounts to AED5000 per month for each beneficiary, regardless of his age.
- Increasing allowances The social welfare programme has been keen to increase the allowances allocated to all family members, including the three current allowances: the allowance for the head of the family, the one for the wife, and the one for children.
- The Head of the Family allowance increases according to years of experience This allowance has been increased to start from AED5,000 per month and then increase at a rate of AED2,000 per month for every 10 years of work experience until it reaches AED13,000.
Whereas the head of the family in the age group of 21-30 years receives an amount of AED5000 per month, and the allowance increases for the age group from 30-40 years to reach AED7000, and the age group from 40-50 years is AED9,000, and the age group from 50-50 years to reach AED11,000, and the age group of those over 60 years old, which amounts to AED13,000 per month.
- Wife allowance The new social welfare programme includes raising the wife's allowance to AED3,500, with the aim of raising the social support that low-income national families receive.
- Children allowance The social welfare programme includes increasing the children allowance to AED2,400 per month for the first child, AED1,600 per month for the second and third child, and AED800 for the fourth child or more, and it shall be disbursed up to the age of 21 years.
- Inflation allowance The programme includes three types of allowances: food, electricity and water, and fuel subsidies.
- Food supplement allowance As part of this initiative, the government bears 75% of food price inflation, as a commitment to provide the necessary assistance to Emirati families to enable them to meet their living requirements and provide them with a decent life.
- Electricity and water subsidy worth 50%.
The social welfare programme provides a monthly subsidy of 50% for electricity consumption less than 4,000 kilowatts, and monthly subsidy for water at a value of 50% for water consumption less than 26,000 gallons.
Fuel subsidy The programme provides a monthly subsidy of 85% of the fuel price increase over AED2.1 per litre. The head of the family receives a monthly subsidy of 300 litres, while the working wife receives a subsidy of an additional 200 litres. Meanwhile, the head of the family receives a subsidy of 400 litres if the wife does not receive support.