No Social Welfare for Those Who Refuse Community Service

Total Croatia News

For now, the new rules will be in effect just in Bjelovar.

The Town of Bjelovar, in cooperation with the Centre for Social Welfare and a local utility company, has drafted new regulations that will allow payment of social assistance just to people who take part in community service activities. The new rules will apply only to those who are healthy enough to work, reports on May 4, 2018.

The new rules include simple jobs such as maintain greenery in the town and similar activities. All those who refuse to take part will lose the right to receive financial assistance. “This is not a popular move. It will certainly cause strong resistance, and previous mayors have refused to make it. However, we want to introduce some order in the social welfare sector, which is what citizens expect from us. That is the reason why the beneficiaries of the social assistance will be invited to provide work without pay in order to compensate the funds they receive from the Town of Bjelovar,” said Dario Hrebak, the mayor of Bjelovar.

Those who will receive summons will have to work between 30 and 90 hours a month. If they fulfil the quota, the social assistance will be paid as usual.

According to data, there are about 200 people who currently receive financial assistance from the Town of Bjelovar, of which about half are not healthy enough to work. “The Town of Bjelovar spends several million kuna a year for a variety of social programmes. We are not going to terminate the programmes, but it is clear that there are people who receive the money although they are perfectly able to work. That is not fair to those who are not able to, and therefore we want to make things fairer with our community service initiative,” said Hrebak.

“The town is opening new jobs. For example, we founded a Make a Wish programme with 77 positions, but the interest was rather weak. At the same time, we have healthy people who receive social assistance. Something is wrong here. We have applied for a 15 million kuna project to introduce an afternoon shift in local kindergartens, which would create new jobs for 26 educators and 16 cleaners. The goal is to employ as many people as possible and introduce order in the welfare sector;” concluded the mayor.


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