- Published: 13.11.2017.
Council for Demographic Revitalisation: Child allowance for nearly 100 thousand households
Next year, shortly below 1 billion kuna will be secured for the implementation of demographic revival measures, it was said in Government House on Monday following a meeting of the Council for Demographic Revitalisation.
The money, which has been provided for this purpose, relates to changes in the income census for Child Allowance entitlements, which will encompass a larger number of families eligible for Child Allowance, increasing the number of kindergartens and providing afternoon child care in them, state secretary for demography, Marin Strmota told a press conference after the meeting.
An additional 94,000 families or 156,000 more children will be eligible for Child Allowance bringing the total number of families receiving the allowance to 250,000. Thus, a total of HRK 440 million will be needed to this end. The law regulating the changes will enter into force on 1 July next year, Strmota said.
An amount of HRK 70 million has been secured for the construction of new kindergartens and local government units can apply for these funds, he added.
The third measure will be to introduce shift work in kindergartens and the cost of HRK 300 million for this purpose will be covered from the European Social Fund, Strmota said.
Strmota explained that the income census for eligibility for Child Allowance will be increased from 50% of the budget base which now is HRK 1,663 to 70% or HRK 2328.
Strmota confirmed that the proposed amendments to the law are just the first step to introduce a universal child allowance.
Minister of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy, Nada Murganic said that a negative demographic trend was one of the significant problems the country is faced with and this is more than one ministry can deal with.
Asked to comment on criticism by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic that the country was in "extraordinary circumstances" with regard to its demographic state of affairs, Murganic said she would use the term "challenging circumstances."
"I wouldn't say the President was criticising, but cautioning, that's her obligation. We are implementing measures and policies and I think that is a joint policy and I don't think that the difference in opinion between the president and government is as drastic as you are saying," she said.