Faculty of Law Opposes Governments’ Plan to Reform Social Welfare System (Večernji List)

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Photo: Davorin Visnjic
Faculty of Law, Zagreb
Faculty of Law, Zagreb

One of the key reforms announced by the Minister of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy, Josip Aladrović, in the presentation of an action plan for the improvement of social welfare and the announcement of a social welfare bill was the replacement of social welfare centers with a central social welfare institute and with branch offices, the Faculty of Law in Zagreb said.

In a letter signed by the head of Social Work Study Centre, Associate Professor Gordana Berc, the head of the Department of Labour Law and Social Security Law, Professor Željko Potočnjak, and the head of the Department of Administrative Science, Professor Gordana Marčetić, the Faculty of Law stated its opposition to the government’s plan.

We consider that the proposal, which is opposed by all professional associations, will not contribute to a more efficient structure and operation of the system, said the professors at the Faculty of Law, adding that the proposal was not put forward by representatives of workers in social welfare or by working groups that worked on the new bill, but that it was being imposed by the minister and the ministry.

They underscored that the system was already highly centralized and that the proposal deprived local and regional authorities of the possibility of impacting the social welfare system, even though they had obligations to finance certain rights.

Further centralization of the system, the Faculty pointed out, is not in accordance with the Constitution, which states that local government units perform tasks at the local level which directly meet the needs of citizens.

Under the new bill on social welfare, the Social Welfare Institute has no obligations towards local government units in terms of submitting reports, nor are local and regional authorities represented in the steering council of the new institute. The change in the structure is clearly modeled on the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute, but social welfare pension insurance systems operate on different models, the Faculty said.

The justification for the reform is the inefficiency of the current system and its uneven performance. However, it is not clearly stated what kind of uneven performance occurred or what caused it, Večernji List reported.

For more, check out our politics section.


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