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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

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The living standards of the disabled are a national issue


Guðjón S. Brjánsson writes

2017) The brave government of Katrín Jakobsdóttir has stated many times that it is, of course, a human right to improve the welfare and living conditions of the disabled, and that is indeed the intention. This was especially noticeable at the beginning of the co-operation with the government, but less and less as time has passed. The big picture remains unchanged now at the end of the election period.

It is sad, on the whole, that we as a society should not have gone any further. thought and deed towards fellow travelers with reduced working capacity, that the disabled should still have insecurity about their framework in life, that they are constantly intervening on the sidelines, not even on the substitutes’ bench.

The Government’s Attitude

The Government’s Attitude Towards Participation Disability in society may become clearer when looking at the approach of ministries, what initiatives individual ministers have shown regarding the employment of disabled people. Have ministers in this government set a good example during the election period? Do their ministries have a defined policy in this area?

Ministers indifferent

In a question from Oddnýja Harðardóttir, Member of Parliament for Samfylking, to all ministers a few months ago, the situation became abundantly clear. Each of the ministries employs either one or no employees with reduced working capacity. For example, the Minister of Social Affairs and Children, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of the Environment do not have an employee in their service who has a reduced work capacity.

None of a policy to focus on the employment of individuals with reduced working capacity. The Minister of Education, Science and Culture did not answer the question. This tells its story about attitudes.

Initiative and human dignity

I hardly think it is possible to accuse us MPs of not discussing the interests of the disabled in discussions in Althingi. The initiative for such a debate always lies with the minority, not with those who govern the laws and promises in the country. It will remain the same and until we come to power, the government will adopt socialism, equality and human dignity. It is up to the voters and they have the choice to turn the page in the parliamentary elections that will take place at the latest this autumn.

Report of Dr. Kolbeinn

There is a wide range of issues about the disabled and their position in society. Kolbeinn H. Stefánsson, PhD in sociology, for example, recently prepared an informative report on disability issues for the Disability Alliance.

The discourse often refers to the increase in the number of disability pensioners. fast with associated costs for the state and society as a whole. Rising costs call for a response in the form of radical changes in social security and rehabilitation.

Kolbeinn points out in his report that the number of disability pensioners has certainly increased significantly since turn of the century, but the change over 10 years period may give a misleading picture. In fact, this development has slowed down 938 and the author of the report says that the latest data also indicates that it has slowed down even further. 2010.

The author of the report also pauses the statement that the increase in disability pensioners can largely be attributed to young men. That proportion has certainly risen in recent decades, but most of the increase in disability pensioners is due to women 50 years and older, or bed 42%. It is a special and serious research topic.

The value of community participation

The well-known work capacity assessment is discussed in the conclusion of Kolbeinn’s report. He considers that much more emphasis should be placed on the general social participation of the disabled, which will reach those who are completely incapable of participating in the labor market, not just focusing on employment.

It is certainly important that the social security system encourages activity but does not discourage the associated side effects. The holiday income limit for the disabled has, for example, been fixed at just under 86 a thousand ISK per month since the year 2005 but would be closer 95 one thousand ISK if it had developed in line with salary. It is a natural correction that we Social Democrats in the Samfylking have fought for and will continue to do.

The author is a member of parliament for the Samfylking.

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