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Carers for disabled stage protest

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 28.03.2014 09:13
A group of 14 demonstrators slept in tents outside parliament on Thursday night demanding that carers for disabled adults be granted the same benefits as parents of disabled children.

Encampment of protesters calling for a raise in benefits for carers for disabled adults, outside Poland's parliament, Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

On Tuesday, the government approved a plan to steadily increase benefits for parents of disabled children following six nights of a sit-in protest. However, carers for disabled adults believe that they are being treated unfairly.

“We're here because we feel discriminated against,” commented Malgorzata Grzyb, from the Organisation of Carers for Disabled Adults.

“We don't agree with the divisions that are being made between carers,” she said.

“The government is trying to divide our circles.”

As night fell, disabled protesters were quartered in Warsaw apartments, while carers slept in tents outside parliament.

During an initial meeting with carers for disabled adults on Thursday, Minister of Labour Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz insisted that the government would continue to differentiate between the two groups.

He argued that “disabled adults often have the opportunity to be allocated their own provisions, such as pensions.”

Meanwhile, although some of the demonstrators from the first group abandoned their round-the-clock protest after the government approved a staggered rise in benefits, others have stayed on.

Parents of disabled children had called for an immediate rise in benefits to the level of the minimum wage, namely from 820 zloty per month (195.7 euro) to a net sum of 1237 zloty 297 euro).

However, Prime Minister Donald Tusk argued that it was not possible to make such a change at once, outlining that the level will reach 1300 zloty net (310.3 euro) in 2016, following consecutive yearly raises.

As a result, some parents of disabled children are continuing their protest. (nh)


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