TVN24 News in English

"That's where we're stepping back. This is our compromise"

TVN24 News in English

"The minister of family, labour and social policy, Elżbieta Rafalska didn’t propose any new solutions", said Iwona Hartwich, one of the protesting mothers of disabled children. She took part in the meeting with ministry representatives. Mrs Hartwich also said that the protesters have put forward their demands, and announced that they have no intention of leaving the parliament building unless a new legislation is passed.

Three mothers and two disabled persons took part in the meeting with minister Rafalska and her two deputies, Bartosz Marczuk i Krzysztof Michałkiewicz. The latter is Government Plenipotentiary for Disabled People. The meeting was over after nearly an hour.

Iwona Hartwich, one of the mothers who took part in the meeting said that "there weren't any new proposals on minister Rafalska's part".

She also said that the previous night, the mothers came up with a compromise solution, which they presented to the government.

"It was a good meeting, the minister took our proposal with her," said Mrs Hartwich. Minister Rafalska is said to have promised to examine the compromise plan in the ministry.

One of the main points of the proposal, as Mrs Hartwich said, is an idea to stagger the 500 zloty benefit for disabled adults. "We have proposed that from May on, the benefit will equal 300 zloty, a 100 zloty more from January 2019, and another hundred from June 2019. Obviously we also want the disability allowance issue (to be of equal value as the minimum work incapacity pension) to be resolved from May as well.

She announced: "We're stepping back a little here. This is a compromise solution that we've worked out last night."

Mrs Hartwich said that the parents will stay in the parliament until the next session which is scheduled on 8 May, and that "they won't leave unless new legislation is passed".

Minister Rafalska in the Sejm

Mrs Rafalska showed up in the Senate at 9am. Initially, as TVN24 reporter found out, the meeting was scheduled to take place in the Senate speaker, Stanisław Karczewski's office. The mothers, however, rejected the idea and agreed to meet with the government's representatives in one of the Sejm chambers.

The minister went to the parliament right after "Jeden na jeden" morning programme in TVN24, where she had declared her will to meet the protesters, but without media presence.

The protesting parents, who watched the programme in the Sejm, informed that they were interested in such meeting. A few minutes minutes later, in the internet part of "Jeden na jeden" at, when asked about the protesters readiness, minister Rafalska confirmed and said "Indeed, I'm ready to meet with those ladies".

She had only one reservation: "Obviously, for such a meeting a comfortable place is required. I will meet with them and I we will speak without media presence".

It was yet another meeting between the minister and the parents of disabled adults.

TVN24 reporter, Agata Adamek was in the Sejm when the protesters entered the meeting room and the journalists were asked to leave. The whole corridor leading to the room was cleared by the parliament guards.

Parents and caretakers of people with disabilities continue their protest

Rejected declaration, protest continues

On Friday, president Andrzej Duda met with the protesters. Soon after the president, came prime minister Morawiecki and minister Rafalska who met with the protesting parents again on Sunday evening.

The prime minister announced the creation of a special support fund for the disabled. Part of the funding would come from a special "solidarity levy" that would be paid by the wealthiest. Mr Morawiecki also declared that the government will spare no effort to equate the social pension amount with that of inability to work minimum allowance provided by the Social Insurance Institute.

The declaration signed on Tuesday by the government and part of the disabled people community, assumes increasing social pension amount to the level of inability to work minimum allowance, that is to 1029,80 zloty, adjusted annually. Furthermore, the government declared to launch "Availability plus" programme with special regard to people with disabilities. Final commitment pertains to introducing and launching from 1 July 2018 on, a coordinated care for the disabled with special rehabilitation needs.

The declaration was rejected by the parents and caretakers of people with disabilites who continue their protest in the parliament building.

Autor: gf//now / Źródło: tvn24

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