“As of June, each month that we wait for the court to rule on the matter will cost an additional HRK 40 million,” Tomašević told a news conference on Tuesday.
He added that the city administration made the decision to phase out the stay-at-home parent scheme five months ago, that it regretted the court had not ruled on the matter and that it hoped it would decide on the merits of the case as soon as possible.
The High Administrative Court on Monday suspended the application of the amended decision on financial support for stay-at-home parents in Zagreb, as a result of which their present allowance will not be reduced as of 1 May.
Stay-at-home parents will continue to receive the present amount of the monthly allowance, equivalent to 65 per cent of the average gross salary paid in the city’s enterprise sector, instead of HRK 1,000 (€133) as decided by the City Assembly.
“We are confident that our decision is quite legal. On the other hand, had we not amended the decision (on financial support for stay-at-home parents), it would have been detrimental to the public interest and the city policy that we advocate,” Tomašević said, adding that waiting for the final court decision wasn’t in anybody’s interest.
“Is there another city in Croatia that has an aid scheme for stay-at-home parents? There isn’t. Is there such a scheme at the national level? No. Did this government promise to introduce it at the national level? It did, so why hasn’t it introduced it?” the mayor asked.
He repeated that regardless of the court decision, the city administration would insist on repurposing city-owned buildings to enable the expansion of kindergarten capacity as well as the construction of additional kindergartens.
“Things should be put into perspective – if the current scheme stays in force, it will cost the same as one kindergarten a month. Citizens should be aware of that,” Tomašević said, noting that EU funding would be sought for the construction of new kindergartens.
Deputy Mayor Danijela Dolenec also said that the city would organise the traditional International Workers Day celebration in Zagreb’s Maksimir Park on 1 May, inviting citizens to the event.
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