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RIGA - The number of recipients of social benefits in Riga is declining, Riga City Council Welfare Department representative Lita Brice told LETA.
In 2015 social benefits were paid to 42,477 people, in 2016 – to 31,671, and last year to 28,156 people.
At present social benefits in Riga are paid to 17,880 residents, but this number is expected to grow until the end of this year because the Riga City Council decided to lower the criterion threshold for several social benefits, and introduced a new social benefit.
Housing benefit this year is paid to 10,082 people, while next year it could be paid to some 13,000 people. Benefit for health care presently has been paid to 2,471 people, and by the end of this year this number could grow to 4,000 people.
In total this year EUR 13.92 million have been earmarked from the Riga City Council budget for social benefits, and EUR 6.92 million have been paid out so far.