SDP MP Martina Vlasic-Iljkic warned on Wednesday that after the New Year, 7,503 disabled persons in Croatia will be left without personal assistants, that the Law on Personal Assistants has not yet been put to public consultation and that the ministry has not ensured funding for the transitional period.
“We demand systematic financing of personal assistance. Not through associations and project activities because not all disabled persons want to be members of associations or they are not accessible for them,” said Vlasic-Iljkic on behalf of the Social Democratic Party caucus during Zero Hour in the parliament.
She believes that systematic financing of personal assistance is the only way to provide services to all disabled persons and their continuity.
Vlašić Iljkic said that according to data from the Register of Persons with Disabilities of the Croatian Institute for Public Health, there are 612,212 disabled persons. The service of a personal assistant, sign language interpreter, and sighted companions can be provided for people with the most severe disabilities who are over 18 years old and have a confirmed degree of impairment.
The salary of personal assistants for four-hour work is 2,100 kuna, and this amount has not changed since 2006, when the system of personal assistance was introduced, while sighted companions receive 4,200 kuna for eight hours of work, she said.
Vlasic-Iljkic said that the law on inclusive allowance has not “even been outlined”, adding that the ministry has “once again shown how easy it is to mislead the public by constantly prolonging the adoption of legal regulations” and calling for the adoption of laws on personal assistants and inclusive allowance.