Families occupy parliament in disability benefits protest
PR dla Zagranicy
Thirteen families with disabled children spent the night in parliament on Wednesday in protest against what they describe as broken promises by the government.
Families with disabled children protest in Poland's lower house of parliament. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell
The protesters are demanding written guarantees to the effect that benefits for the disabled will be raised.
They also want round-the-clock care by family members to be treated by the government as a full-time profession, with a corresponding wage.
The families, who slept on chairs that they joined together in the corridors of the lower house of parliament, have said that they are prepared to spend up to four days in the building.
Earlier on Wednesday, a larger crowd of protesters demonstrated outside parliament.
MP Slawomir Piechota from Prime Minister Tusk's Civic Platform party, and Henryk Smolar from coalition partner the Polish Peasant's Party outlined in a press conference that state expenditure on families with disabled members had risen from half a billion zloty (118. 8 million euro) in 2007 to 1.7 billion zloty (403.9 million euro) in 2013.
“That's a joke, don't lie,” protesters called out.
Data from Poland's Central Statistical Office (GUS) reveals that there are over 560,000 families with disabled children in the country.
In families where both parents are still married, only 42 percent of those parents are both professionally employed, and most often it is the mother who gives up work.
Statistics covering all families with disabled children show that there are 310,000 women who are not professionally employed, and 130,000 men. (nh)
Source: PAP/RMF FM