UAE: Fuel, shopping subsidies to be rolled out immediately, other measures by September

New social welfare programme announced for low-income citizens



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By A Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 5 Jul 2022, 9:03 PM

Last updated: Tue 5 Jul 2022, 10:59 PM

UAE's Ministry of Community Development (MoCD) will begin receiving inflation allowance applications from today (July 5), with the new social welfare programme to be rolled out in September 2022, announced Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, the Minister of Community Development.

During an interview with Abu Dhabi Radio on Tuesday, the Minister reported high demand for the million-dirham fund in the first few hours of the announcement. In a tweet, MoCD said its website was "experiencing pressure as a result of the increasing numbers due to submission of requests and inquiries."

"The ministry's technical team is currently working to quickly fix the problem. The site will return to normal in the coming hours," the ministry had added.

The programme includes three key pillars to support low-income Emirati families - new welfare allocations, an increase in allowances and the inflation allowance, which includes food, water, electricity and fuel subsidies. While discounts on fuel and shopping will begin immediately, the ministry clarified other measures would take effect in September this year.

On Monday, state news agency WAM announced President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan directed the restructuring of the Social Welfare Programme for low-income citizens into an integrated programme worth Dh28 billion instead of Dh14 billion.

Following the announcement of Sheikh Mohamed's directives, Minister Buhumaid said the MoCD has already begun implementing the directives of the President and will cover a larger number of families.

The programme covers various social aspects for national families with limited income, including the head of the family allowance and allowances for wives and children. 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 seekers and unemployed citizens over the age of 45.

Minister Buhumaid said the programme supports the vision of the UAE's leadership to make the UAE one of the best countries to support the community and quality of life.

The ministry explained that there are several categories eligible for social welfare, including:

— Families where the head of the family is aged over 25, retired

— An elderly citizen

— Citizens with health problems or is a person of determination

— Families of prisoners, orphans and abandoned children

— Widows and divorced women whose children are persons of determination

— Unemployed individuals aged over 45

The fund will be given to the above-mentioned category of citizens provided that the household income of the applicant family is lower than the social welfare value specified for the number of family members.

How will it be calculated?

The ministry said that the value of social welfare will be calculated according to the number of family members and their eligibility for allowances.

— The main eligible beneficiary will receive Dh 5,000

— The wife will receive Dh 3,500

— The first son Dh 2,400

— The second and the third Dh 1,600 each

— The fourth son D 800.

— Allowances granted to children who are university students will be raised to Dh3,200, if they are enrolled in certain universities or have high academic scores.

— Housing allowances will amount to Dh2,500, with an extra Dh2,000 'expertise allowance' to be given to breadwinners and retired people.

— Main beneficiaries who are aged over 45 and unemployed will receive a conditional social welfare sum of Dh2,000, which will increase by Dh1,000 once every five years, totalling Dh5,000 by the time he turns 60 years old, while his wife will receive an allowance of Dh 1,000, which will gradually increase to Dh3,500 by the time she turns 60.

— Main beneficiaries who are seeking employment are eligible for a Dh5,000 temporary allowance, with wives and children eligible for allowances as well.

How to apply?

Application submission process The Ministry of Community Development said the social welfare applications and related inquiries can be submitted through the ministry's website (www.mocd.gov.ae) and smart application. Registrations must be made using the UAE Pass or registration with the Emirates ID.

Electricity and water subsidies

The MoCD said that electricity and water subsidies would be provided, in coordination with relevant authorities. A monthly subsidy of 50 per cent for electricity consumption less than 4,000 kilowatts, and monthly subsidy for water at a value of 50 per cent for water consumption less than 26,000 gallons will be provided.

Buhumaid said electricity and water subsidy claims can be submitted through the ministry's website from July 5. Eligibility criteria for such subsidies include having a total household income of less than Dh 25,000 per month, and this is done by calculating monthly salaries, pensions, returns from commercial licences, returns from rental properties and income from investment properties.

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Eligible categories for the water and electricity subsidies also include the families of retirees who have unmarried and unemployed children aged under 21, and have with a total household income of less than Dh 25,000 per month. The ministry must be informed of changes in family income and marital status.

The eligibility criteria and eligible categories for the water and electricity subsidies shall be the same as those for the fuel and food subsidies.

The ministry explained that the fuel subsidy, which amounts to 85 per cent of the fuel price, will be provided to some low-income families if the fuel price increases over Dh 2.1 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 breadwinner will be eligible for a subsidy of 300 litres, if the spouse (unemployed or retired husband/wife) is not receiving welfare.

In addition, retirees, whether husbands or wives, who are not receiving welfare, will receive a subsidy of 300 litres if they have children aged under 21 who are unemployed and unmarried. Fuel subsidy applications are submitted and approved through the Adnoc Distribution smart application, and will be linked to an applicant's ID number.

The ministry also said it will disburse food subsidies at 75 per cent of the food price inflation rate. The value of the subsidy is linked to the change in inflation rates for basic foodstuffs. Food allowances can be used at approved outlets selling goods and food, which will be announced in the coming period.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com


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