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Labour: ‘PN’s disability proposals have already been introduced’

Minister Michael Farrugia says PN's proposals for the disability sector have already been introduced by the Labour government 

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
16 May 2017, 3:24pm
Several of the initiatives that the PN is proposing for the disability sector have already been introduced by the current government, the Labour Party has said.

Addressing a press conference at the PL headquarters, social solidarity minister Michael Farrugia said that the PN’s disability proposals prove that it has wasted its four years in Opposition focusing on personal attacks and lies instead of developing concrete proposals.

On the PN’s proposal for disability allowances to be increased to match the minimum wage, Farrugia said that such a scheme is already being implemented as part of the government’s plan to revamp social benefits.

“We want to wean people off social benefits and ensure that they are in employment, but at the same time improve the benefits of people who genuinely can’t work such as people with severe disabilities,” he said. “Indeed, a law that passed in Parliament a few weeks ago will see the disability allowance increase to the minimum wage.”

Farrugia said that the PN’s proposal for disabled people to retain their full disability allowance once they find a job has been in law since 2015, and that its proposal for all amputees to benefit from disability allowances started operating a few weeks ago.

As for the PN’s proposal to increase the allowance of children with disabilities, the minister argued that the Labour government already increased it by 20% in 2014 – the first increase in decades.

Moreover, the PN is promising to increase the number of residential homes for people with disabilities when the current government has already built five such homes in four years, with a further five in the pipeline.

The PN is also promising to invest in rendering accessible the personal homes of people with disability, when the Labour government has already spent €893,000 to make 240 homes across the country accessible.

Finally, Farrugia questioned why the PN is promising to allocate LSAs to children with disabilities at government summer schools when such an initiative is already in place.

“It’s shameful how Busuttil – as a MP and as a lawyer – doesn’t even know what laws were passed in Parliament,” he said. “This is the pitiful situation of a pitiful Opposition led by two pitiful leaders who haven’t even realized that this government has made giant strides to improve the lives of people with disabilities in the past four years.”