Editorial: The need for a steady social benefits policy
The number of applications in the two phases of the Fuel Pass (auto fuel subsidies) programme is the clearest indication of the needs created by the hike in fuel costs.
The social benefits policy of any government is often controversial.
It is commonplace for the opposition το castigate those in power, either because they are perpetuating the dependence of citizens on state assistance or because the money received by beneficiaries is insufficient.
We are not, however, in a period of normalcy. In terms of energy, the winter is expected to be rough, both in Greece and the rest of Europe.
Hence, even a government that is not ideologically associated with the logic of handouts has a duty to be flexible in order to cover the needs of the people.
Citizens have demonstrated that they are in need of state support.
It is apparent in the number of applicants for every benefit programme that is available on digital platforms.
The number of applications in the two phases of the Fuel Pass (auto fuel subsidies) programme is the clearest indication of the needs that have arisen with the hike in fuel costs.
The same occurred with the power pass, but also with the programme to subsidise the purchase of more energy efficient electrical appliances.
The enormous number of applicants forced the government to gradually roll out the programme based on the last digit of applicants’ tax ID numbers, in order not to overload the digital platform.
In the coming months, when we shall be confronted with the new, harsh realities of the energy crisis, the government’s outlook should remain unchanged.
The strategy of subsidies should be a guide for the future, especially since it is clear that the government has set aside funds for such necessary interventions.