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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-07-21

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, July 21, 2002


  • [01] Gurel repeats demand for 'TRNC' recognition
  • [02] 'Child benefits should start at £70 a month for first child'
  • [03] Villagers protest over new farm
  • [04] First police chief dies, 83

  • [01] Gurel repeats demand for 'TRNC' recognition

    TURKEY'S new Foreign Minister said yesterday that Ankara would not drop its demand that the world recognises the breakaway 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' to ease its own bid to join the European Union.

    "There is absolutely no relation between Turkey's EU accession process and efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem," hardliner Sukru Sina Gurel, in Nicosia to mark the 28th anniversary of the Turkish invasion, said.

    But many EU diplomats see the prospect of admitting a divided Cyprus to the bloc as a diplomatic minefield that could poison relations with Turkey.

    Gurel, a hardliner on Cyprus and Turkey's own bid to join the EU, spoke to a parade of Turkish soldiers, schoolchildren and tyre-burning motorbike riders in the occupied northern area of Nicosia.

    "Artificial models for a solution and artificial timetables will not move the process forward. The path to a solution is based on the equal status and equal sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriots," he told crowds at the military parade.

    Gurel's speech was his first major policy statement and first trip outside Turkey as foreign minister. He was named foreign minister last week after his predecessor Ismail Cem quit along with dozens of other deputies who have fled ailing Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's party.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] 'Child benefits should start at £70 a month for first child'

    By Alexia Saoulli

    CHILD benefits should be much larger than the amount the government is proposing under its new tax regulations, a University of Cyprus economic study recommended yesterday.

    “If the government and House really want to cover a child's basic family needs, they will have to grant a monthly allowance of £70 for the first child per couple and £55 for every additional child. One parent families must receive £10 more respectively,” said the study.

    Child benefits aim to cover the costs of a child's basic needs -- food, shelter, clothing, education and health. They are not supposed to cover the cost of more expensive items which wealthier parents give their offspring.

    With this in mind, the university researchers calculated children's financial requirements with regards to the bare minimum cost of living expenses. A basic family budget study was analysed by the department of statistics.

    “We have calculated that a childless couple's minimum cost of living expenses are about £400 a month and that a childless individual needs £240 a month to survive,” said the researchers.

    Based on this evidence, the study evaluated that up until the age of 11 a child increases a couple's living expenses by 14 per cent and a child between 12-18 years old by 22 per cent. Every additional child, until the fourth child, decreases this percentage by two per cent, said the study.

    It suggests that a two-parent family should received £56 a month for the first child, up until he or she is 11, and £88 a month between the ages of 12 and 18. For the second, third and fourth child, this allowance should decrease by £8 respectively. In other words, the fourth child should receive benefits of £32 and £64 depending on its age.

    Single parent families need slightly more child benefit, starting with £67 a month for the first child and then, from the age of 12 onwards, £96. Benefits for every extra child should decrease by £7 a month.

    The researchers believe that a first-born's basic needs are more expensive than any additional children, based on a family's 'economic scale'. Children can, in some respects, share the same consumer goods.

    Single parent families, on the other hand, need more help to begin with because the first child actually represents a second family member rather than a third, as is the case with couples.

    However, the study points out that increasing child benefits to these levels would have to be done gradually and in accordance with government revenue increases so as to avoid large financial deficits.

    Although raising child benefits to realistic levels might have financial consequences, those responsible for regulating the law should not overlook two important points, said the researchers:

    “First of all, child benefits that represent their real cost of living needs would be a more effective way of achieving the government's social and population policy aims.

    “Secondly, the government's decision to introduce restrictions on child benefits based on their parents' earnings is pointless since the poor will benefit from the rich. For example, if VAT is increased by three per cent on all items, a rich family with two children and a monthly income of £3, 000 will pay £90 more in taxes.

    “A less affluent family, again with two children but this time with a joint monthly salary of £1,000, will pay £30 more taxes. In other words the money gained in taxes will amount to £120. If this sum is then divided equally between both families, it is the same as saying that the rich family has given the poor family £30.”

    THE Government plans to introduce a sliding scale for child benefits based on parents' earnings.

    Presently all families are given a tax-free allowance of £500 a year per child. The House finance committee has suggested that this amount be abolished and each family be given grants according to parents' joint annual income and how many children they have. Over and above a certain income, there will be no benefits.

    The new law proposes that parents with one child are entitled to benefits of £200 a year, for two children £500, three children £1,200 in benefits and four or more children up to £2,600, as long as their income is less than £18,000. Large families earning over £40,000 will stand to gain nothing

    At present, families with four or more children not only benefit from tax- free allowances, but they are also given £31.35 per child per month. In other words, an average four-child family is given a grant of £1,870.20 per year, including bonuses.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Villagers protest over new farm

    EIGHTY residents of Monagrouli, near Moni, Limassol district, yesterday demonstrated against the construction of another farm unit in their village.

    The protest, which was headed by the community leader, was staged between 9.20am and 10.20am, said police

    A Limassol police spokesman said the existing farm units contained pigs, cattle and other animals and the villagers had complained about the offensive smell from the animals. Yesterday's demonstration did not centre on the existing units but on government plans to create another one.

    “There are already a lot of farm units bordering their village and the residents frequently complain about the smell,” the spokesman told the Cyprus Mail.

    “The problem is, permission was recently given to build yet another large farm in the area, which is why they were protesting. What they want is for it to be relocated elsewhere and not in their backyard yet again.”

    Police were on hand to ensure things did not get out of hand. The demonstration lasted an hour and ended peacefully.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] First police chief dies, 83

    CYPRUS' first police chief, Charalambos K. Hasapis, died in Nicosia on Friday night. He was 83. Hasapis joined the police force in 1934 and served as police chief from 1960 to 1971.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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