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Opposition challenges new welfare rules at Constitutional Court

A GROUP of opposition MPs represented by Jozef Mihál, former labour minister and current MP for Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), has filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court over the Act on Subsistence Allowance that came into effect in the beginning of the year, TASR newswire reported.

A GROUP of opposition MPs represented by Jozef Mihál, former labour minister and current MP for Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), has filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court over the Act on Subsistence Allowance that came into effect in the beginning of the year, TASR newswire reported.

The law stipulates that people in financial need will be entitled for subsistence allowance at €61.60 per month only if they carry out at least 32 hours per month of voluntary or minor maintenance work for their locality. One of the basic preconditions is that they will be offered the job. Parliament passed the law in November 2013, overriding the veto of President Ivan Gašparovič who had said that the legislation in its current form promotes “forced labour”. In his reasoning, Gašparovič complained that some recipients of the allowance may be deprived of the benefit in an unjust way, as some of them are unable to work or lack opportunities in their locality, TASR wrote.

Opposition MPs claim in their motion that the law violates the inherent principle of right to assistance, which is essential for people in need in order to secure their basic living needs. They also point to what they describe as unequal treatment of recipients of the allowance according to the new legislation.

Meanwhile, Ombudswoman Jana Dubovcová also criticised the law, saying that her office is also considering a filing with the Constitutional Court.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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