Morocco to increase annual spending on social safety nets to $5bln

Morocco to increase annual spending on social safety nets to $5bln

Morocco plans to increase spending on social protection to 5 billion dollars annually, covering mandatory health insurance, direct cash handouts to needy social categories, and housing acquisition aid, head of the government Aziz Akhannouch said.

Speaking to members of Parliament, Akhannouch said the measures are in implementation of the King’s directives to move towards a social state, reduce disparities, improve access to health services, curb school dropouts and offer regular income to poor families depending on seasonal revenue.

Morocco plans to spend 25 billion dirhams or 2.5 billion dollars on direct financial assistance to needy households and widows in addition to child birth allowance, Akhannouch said.

The aid will benefit 60% of Moroccan families who are not enrolled in social protection starting from Dec. 30.

A family with three children would start by receiving 600 dirhams in 2024 and will receive 900 dirhams by 2026 while a widow with three kids will get up to 1200 dirhams monthly by 2026, he said.

In tandem with this reform, Morocco will gradually reduce the amount it spends on subsidies, Akhannouch said.

Morocco also plans 1 billion dollars in annual spending on mandatory health coverage and another 1 billion dollars in aid to help poor and middle classes own property, he said.

This spending will be sourced from an inflow of solidarity tax by corporates and other tax sources as well as a redirection of former aid programs and subsidies spending, he said.

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