The issue of housing subsidies was at the heart of discussions at today’s press briefing held on Thursday at the end of the Government Council meeting.
The government spokesman highlighted this point, confirming that anyone who meets the government’s pre-established criteria will benefit from housing subsidies.
Mustapha Baitas spoke on the project, stating that “direct subsidies confirm that the government continues to implement the fundamental pillars of a society that takes into consideration the ills suffered by citizens.”
“Today, the citizen is at the heart of our concerns”, emphasized the government spokesman, insisting that “housing subsidies are a new measure introduced by the government to hinder the difficulty Moroccans face in accessing housing, due to numerous considerations”.
The long-established mechanism has failed to make any headway, so “it’s only natural that the government should consider including a new mechanism, which would involve granting this support directly to those wishing to buy a home”, says the Minister.
Baitas explained that these subsidies are limited by conditions, which stipulate, among other things, that the home must be the first and only one owned by the family, and that it must be for necessity and not for luxury.
Mustapha Baitas also pointed out that needy families wishing to invest in housing costing less than MAD 300,000 will benefit from a larger share of the subsidy than middle-class families who can spend between 300,00 and 700,000 on a home.
The Minister in charge of relations with Parliament stressed the crucial role played by the middle class in society, and that it is not and never will be relegated by the government, except that the needy class needs more help.
“We’re accelerating our steps to end these crises, it’s a gradual journey towards strengthening and building a well-founded social state. Work is currently underway on behalf of the needy classes, and as progress is made, the government will pay particular attention to the middle class,” promises the government spokesman.
At the same time, the government has taken the decision to phase out subsidies, which does not please citizens who will have to pay full price for certain basic products.
The government spokesman chose to ignore all the questions asked by journalists on this subject, especially as the price of a large gas cylinder is set to rise by MAD 10 from next April, with a gradual increase of 10 dirhams per year. As a reminder, the price of a gas cylinder without compensation should fluctuate between MAD 100 and MAD 120.
Direct social assistance program
Regarding the direct social assistance program, Baitas said it marks “a major turning point” in the Kingdom’s social reform.
Baitas said that the implementation of the direct social assistance program testifies to the government’s determination to press ahead with the implementation of the fundamental pillars of the social state, noting that “the social state is not a slogan, but rather a reality that is reflected in the health, education, employment and financing sectors, as well as in the social protection project launched by the King”.
He stressed that social assistance “represents an important turning point in public action and public policy, under the impetus of the King,” noting that this important project concerns all Moroccans and requires the contribution of all stakeholders.
After recalling the efforts made to consolidate the social protection system and the progress made in sectoral reforms, notably in health, access to housing and employment, he pointed out that the government’s action with regard to the social state is now based on a horizontal rather than vertical approach.
“The government is working to lay the foundations for restructuring the operating mechanisms of social solidarity systems, based on protection and dignity for all”, he stressed, noting that direct aid is not linked solely to targeted categories, but will also enable the social security network to be generalized, by integrating people in precarious situations into the traditional and regular social security network.
Baitas underlined that the basic compulsory health insurance scheme for people unable to pay the “AMO Solidarité” subscription fee currently has around 10 million beneficiaries.
He also pointed out that implementation of the social assistance project will require a budget of 25 billion dirhams over the course of 2024, stressing that payment of benefits will begin towards the end of the current year.