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It is no fun getting old in Georgia2013-04-03 17:31
On April 1, the pensions were raised in Georgia. According to the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Protection, retired at the age to 67 years who received 110 GEL, from April receive 125 GEL. The same amount will receive invalids of the first group. This is a part of the phased increase in the pension, introduced by the new government. But what is the reality? How do the pensioners really live in Georgia? Can you survive having 110 GEL per month? What can you afford for the additional 15 GEL? And what kind of pensions would like receive the retirement pensioners? We asked the elderly residents of Tbilisi about that.
Anaida Kasparyan - a pensioner, visually impaired. She was born and lived her whole life in Tbilisi. Her private house is still unregistered. You have to pass too much red tape, but she has neither strength nor means or the opportunity. Her yard of approximately 50 square meters rather resembles a garbage dump. Neighbors are avoiding it. No one can take care of the cleanliness and order in the yard. In order not to live alone, Kasparyan has adopted her own grandson. Today, they live on the pension of Anaida Kasparyan.
- Why have you decided to adopt your grandchild? It's a bit strange for pensioners.
- A person cannot live alone. And although it was a spontaneous decision, I have never regretted. But now, the only thing I think is to raise him.
- What do you live on?
- We live on my pension and welfare payment.
- What's the size of your pension?
- 110 GEL.
- And do you receive welfare payment as a visually impaired?
- No, only some drugs: I have a policy and health care is free. We live under the poverty line, our welfare payment is associated with it. It is 58 GEL.
- In total 168 GEL. Can you live with that money?
- I would say - no, we cannot, but we live. So, perhaps, it is possible.
- Since April, the amount of your pension reaches 125 GEL. Did you know about that?
- Yes, of course. 15 GEL - this is a kilogram of meat, or 2 kilograms of oil, 3 medium chicken, or better 30 loaves of bread.
- What size of pension would be enough for you?
- 500 GEL per month would be enough. Though, you can suitably live receiving 400 GEL. Son, for example, wants to attend computer courses, but we cannot afford. But the English language courses are free, he also attends the music classes for free.
Zhuzhuna Labadze - a pensioner, a refugee from Sukhum. She lives with her daughter and grandchildren. Her pension is 125 GEL.
- What can you afford on your pension?
- The drug mainly. I spent on drugs 60-70 GEL per month.
- You live in a big family. If you lived alone, how do you think, was it possible to live on your pension?
- By the retirement age everyone necessarily has any disease, and often a whole bunch of them. The main part of my pension is spent on drugs. I pay 25-30 GEL for electricity, a little more for gas. That's the whole pension.
- You live with daughter. Does she work?
- She bakes cakes and delivers them to the store; she daily earns 6-7 lari. It's enough for bread and sugar.
- Do you have any additional income?
- We are refugees from Sukhum. We receive a welfare payment. I receive 22 GEL, and my daughter - 28 GEL, she also receives a pension of her husband of 50 GEL. He was an employee of the Interior Ministry. A few years ago, when we lived in Kutaisi, he died.
- Mrs. Zhuzhuna, what is your dream?
- To return to my house in Sukhum.
Iya Ugulava, a pensioner, mother of two sons with disabilities. She has worked as a head teacher at the school for more than 30 years.