Government to introduce registry for disabled persons

The government is committed to deliver the concept of a just and fair society, Parliamentary Secretary Franco Mercieca says.

The government will introduce a register that will include data about all the persons with disability in Malta, Parliamentary Secretary Franco Mercieca announced this morning.

Addressing a KNPD conference entitled 'Inclusion, Participation and Accessibility', Mercieca said that current statistics are "inadequate and incomplete."

"It is useless to embark on initiatives and projects without knowing the real needs of these persons. What is their disability? What services do they need? This is part of a long term plan for this sector. We believe in equal opportunities and the government is committed to deliver the concept of a just and fair society," Mercieca said.

The setting up of this register will be funded through the European Social Fund.

Speaking during the conference, Opposition MP Stephen Spiteri said the Nationalist Party would adopt a bipartisan approach in addressing the challenges of this sector. He also encouraged the government to introduce incentives that will increase employability of such persons.

Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Arnold Cassola noted several measures introduced in the past budget "which however were not enough."

The KNPD presented the findings of a survey carried out with 600 disabled persons, which concluded that the income of disabled persons is relatively low. The vast majority of participants said they depended on their retirement pensions or social benefits.