Opposition motions for no-confidence vote against dep PM, family min

Lawmakers from Poland's main opposition party, Civic Platform (PO), submitted no-confidence motions to the Sejm (lower house) on Monday against a deputy PM and the family minister over the unresolved problem of the disabled.

On Saturday, PO caucus leader Slawomir Neumann announced no-confidence motions against Deputy Prime Minister Beata Szydlo and Family Minister Elzbieta Rafalska, claiming they are politically responsible for the protest in the Sejm.


At a Monday press conference, PO MP Mariusz Witczak confirmed that the motions had already been sent to the Sejm.


According to the PO politician, the protesters in the Sejm, the parents of disabled people, made just demands and have the right to expect support, having seen how much money was given to ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party activists and their families. "The government gives cash to ministers, deputy ministers, or its regional activists while the disabled are offered material substitutes in the form of diapers or catheters," he stressed.


Witczak also noted that in 2015, the previous Civic Platform government secured PLN 657 million (EUR 156 mln) in the state budget to raise the care benefit to the amount of PLN 1,477 (EUR 350). "This money has disappeared," he pointed out. "We are asking, where the money went and whether it fed the pool of bonuses for PiS," he stressed.


Meanwhile, the ruling Law and Justice party's spokesperson, Beata Mazurek, said there is no way Szydlo and Rafalska will be dismissed. In her opinion, PO leader Grzegorz Schetyna does not care about the disabled but is merely launching a political row.


The carers of the disabled have been protesting in the Sejm building since April 18. Apart from raising financial aid for the disabled to the level of the minimum work disability pension, protestors are demanding a special PLN 500 (ca. EUR 119) benefit for disabled people over 18 years of age who are incapable of independent living.


On Thursday, the government passed a bill raising disability aid to equal the minimum work disability pension. In effect, disability aid will rise from PLN 865.03 (EUR 204.06) to PLN 1,029.80 (EUR  242.92). The new law is to come in force on September 1, but will be effective as of June 1.


The offer was rejected by the parents protesting in the Sejm, who demanded higher allowances for their disabled children. 


On Friday, the government presented a project which would guarantee the disabled nearly PLN 520 (EUR 123) in savings per month due to the abolition of spending limits for rehabilitation and medical devices.


The protesters called the proposal a "manipulation" and appealed to President Andrzej Duda and ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jarosław Kaczynski for help.