The government has reported a sharp increase in welfare spending resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19.

The report says that the state’s welfare spending has increased to a total of €513 million as the state has launched multiple support programs to ensure the personal and professional safety of its residents.

The money spent during the period of January to April 2020, is an increase of a whopping 108% – as compared to the €246.9 million that was spent between January to April 2019.

The report clearly attributes the spike in welfare spending to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the resulting expansion of the National Health Scheme and its payment.

The top spender in this regard has been the Ministry of Labor, which spent over €153 million in the month of April. Its total expenditure in the January-April period has been €407 million. This was confirmed by Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou, who explained to the Parliament how a sum of €219 million was paid to the people from March May through a variety of welfare schemes.

The spending has had an adverse effect on the state’s financial status. The state revenue has gone down by 13.5% during this period, as opposed to the expenditure which has risen up by 16.5%.