Slovenia’s New Govt: A Focus on Young Families & the Elderly

By , 01 Mar 2020, 10:56 AM Politics
Slovenia’s New Govt: A Focus on Young Families & the Elderly needpix.com CC-by-0

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STA, 29 February 2020 - The likely new government plans to tackle housing issues among the young and problems stemming from population ageing, according to the social affairs chapter of the coalition agreement. It does not intend to change pension rights though.

The incoming centre-right government vows to set up a housing scheme for young families and build rental flats, the top pledge of the 19-point Youth, Family, Pensions and Social Affairs chapter of the agreement.

It plans to re-introduce a scheme under which families with two or more children enrolled in public kindergarten simultaneously would only pay for the first child, a policy that had been put in place by the first Janez Janša government in 2008 and was later abandoned due to austerity measures.

Family-friendly policies, designed to boost the country's birth rate, include plans to introduce a universal child allowance and incentives promoting "greater enrolment of all children in kindergartens at least a year before starting school".

The document does not mention implementing a Constitutional Court decision mandating equal funding of private and public primary schools, however Janša, the leader of the Democrats (SDS), the party expected to lead the coalition, has said that it goes without saying the parties would also implement any Constitutional Court ruling regardless of whether it is specifically mentioned in the agreement.

Tackling population ageing, the emerging four-party coalition intends to establish a public pension support fund as well as a government demographic office, both headquartered in Maribor, Slovenia's second largest city - initiatives that may be considered as steps towards decentralisation.

The coalition also plans to reform social transfers to prevent abuse of the system and integrate recipients of social benefits who are able to work into the community work placement scheme.

The minimum amount of a full pension is to be gradually brought nearer the poverty threshold, "depending on economic growth and budget capacities". To preserve the existing pension ratios, other pensions would be raised as well.

Addressing the shortage of nursing homes, the coalition pledges to complete the construction of a couple of such facilities as well as build at least five new nursing homes.

It also intends to carry out additional pension increases on top of regular annual pension indexation, assuming GDP growth reaches certain thresholds.

The coalition also promises to provide the chance of spa or climatic treatment for war victims and veterans.

This is the second in a series on the new government’s plans, to be posted in the next few days, with the whole set here

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