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Welfare rules to change

ONLY people who spend 32 hours each month doing communal or voluntary work will get the so-called material need welfare subsidy of €61.60. The rules will change as the MPs broke president’s veto and approved the amendment authored by government proxy for Roma communities Peter Pollák at parliament’s November 26 session.

ONLY people who spend 32 hours each month doing communal or voluntary work will get the so-called material need welfare subsidy of €61.60. The rules will change as the MPs broke president’s veto and approved the amendment authored by government proxy for Roma communities Peter Pollák at parliament’s November 26 session.

President Ivan Gašparovič was proposing to withdraw the small communal works from the list of chores people will have to do when asking for the benefit. According to him, people could get the subsidy when working as volunteers, when preparing preventive measures to protect the municipality or doing cleanup after some sort of natural disaster, the SITA newswire wrote.

The new law now stipulates that the main condition for receiving the benefit will be that the municipality will offer adults the work. If any of parents does not take it and does not work, the family will not get the activation benefits and the basic benefit in material need. It will however still be eligible to claim for the contribution to housing and children benefits. This means that for a four-member family where neither of parents works the social benefits will drop from current €156 per month to €36, SITA reported.

The new law also abolishes the right to apply for contribution to health-care treatment which stands at €2 a month per every person in material need. Instead, the law imposes a special benefit at €63.07 a month for long-term unemployed who were receiving the benefit in material need before they started working. The condition will be that the salary should be higher than the minimum wage, but lower than three times of minimum wage. The households getting this subsidy will not receive the material need benefit. The family will get the benefit for no more than six months, SITA wrote.

The new law also keeps the children benefits at €17.20 for those families whose children regularly go to school, and allows the reduction of social benefits to pay for fines, SITA wrote.

MP for the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) Viliam Novotný welcomed the changes, saying that “the aim of the governmental law is not to force someone to work”.

“It is very good to divide people to those, who cannot find a job, and those, who do not want to work,” Novotný said, as quoted by SITA.

Also another SDKÚ MP Ľudovít Kaník, Igor Matovič from the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) movement and Pollák supported the law.

Some opposition deputies want to file a complaint over the amendment to the Constitutional Court, the Sme daily wrote.

Source: SITA, Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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