Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri told lawmakers on October 7 that government plans to increase minimal monthly age pension next year.
Speaking at a parliamentary committee hearing of the initial draft budget of 2015, Khaduri said that the pension growth would also continue in 2016.
He told the parliamentary committee for finances that a precise growth rate for next year is currently being discussed within the government and is not yet reflected in the initial draft of 2015 budget, which is subject to revision before the parliamentary vote in late December.
The initial draft allocates for the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Affairs GEL 2.75 billion; almost half of that funding is allotted for covering pensions next year, which is 17.2% of total budgetary expenditures set for 2015.
The last time pensions increased in Georgia in 2013 and basic, minimal monthly pension is currently set at GEL 150; from GEL 2 to GEL 10 is added monthly to that minimal rate depending on length of service.
“I think that there should be an increase by at least 5-10 Lari in order to make it easier for us, lawmakers, to vote for this budget,” Georgian Dream MP Davit Onoprishvili, who chairs parliamentary committee for finances, told journalists after the hearing.
The retirement age for women is 60 and 65 for men. There are about 694,000 pensioners registered with the Georgian Social Service Agency, up from 682,000 two years ago.
Opposition lawmakers from UNN party were not present at the committee hearing as they are boycotting meetings held in newly renovated Parliament building in Tbilisi in protest over partial relocation of the legislative body from Kutaisi to the capital city. UNM is criticizing proposed initial draft of 2015 budget, saying that it is not oriented towards job creation and economic growth.