Opposition criticises gov't efforts to aid disabled

Iwona Hartwich, KO MP, asked when the law would be changed in regard to the amount of benefits for carers of people with disabilities. Piotr Nowak/PAP

Poland's opposition groupings criticised on Tuesday the government's efforts to support children with disabiltities, as presented in a report on the "For Life" programme by Family Minister Marlena Maląg. The opposition said the programme was full of "cynicism and hypocrisy."

Following Thursday's Constitutional Tribunal ruling that put a ban on abortion due to foetal defects and countrywide protests, Family Minister Marlena Maląg presented the report to the Sejm (lower house).

Maląg stated that the programme provides "comprehensive care for families with disabled people (...) including care offered to the mother and child during pregnancy and after birth."

The minister said that, in 2015, more than PLN 15 bln (EUR 3.28 bln) was spent on support for the disabled, whereas in 2020 the figure rose to PLN 27 bln (EUR 5.90 bln), and added that the governing conservative coalition, the United Right, had prepared a "programme of comprehensive family support: 'For Life'."

Małgorzata Tracz from the opposition Civic Coalition (KO), said Tuesday's debate was an attempt to distract attention from "the hell" that ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party had prepared for women by ordering the pseudo-Constitutional Tribunal to issue a scandalous judgment, in the midst of a pandemic, which, in practice, completely prohibits abortion in Poland.

Katarzyna Kretkowska from The Left demanded "legal abortions without compromise." As she said, the "For Life" programme was full of "cynicism and hypocrisy."

Iwona Hartwich, another KO MP, asked when the law would be changed in regard to the amount of benefits for carers of people with disabilities. Current regulations make support for a carer of a disabled person dependent on the stage of life at which the disability was diagnosed.

People with disabilities who participated in a protest, also criticised Maląg's proposal, and called the project "a scandal" and "a total lie." They said the government had no idea about the situation of people with disabilities.

Anna Glinka, a mother of a disabled man, called Maląg's words "a lie", and added that the parents of disabled children do not receive any help, "neither psychological, financial, physical nor practical. None," she said.