A one-off €35 government bonus will be given to households to compensate for the increase of bread and milk prices registered last year. Single persons will get a €15 cheque.

The allowance will be payable to the utility services accounts holder and will be sent by post between February 14 and 17.

Addressing a news conference on Thursday, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said this measure was in line with the 2020 Budget pledge to complement the €3.49 weekly increase under the cost of living allowance mechanism.

The overall cost of this allowance will be of €5.3 million. An estimated 181,000 families will benefit, including 52,300 single persons.

Prof. Scicluna said the measure involved a huge logistical operation to get a full list of eligible households. This was done by merging various databases such as those of utilities billing company ARMS, Identity Malta and the social security department.

The finance minister pointed out that this one-time bonus, known as a discretionary measure, was only possible due to the robust economic growth being registered.

In the 2020 Budget there are a total of €80 million in discretionary measures, a sharp increase over 2014 when the respective figure was just €5 million, he said.

Anyone not receiving the bonus by the end of next week can seek assistance on customer care number 153.

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