OPEN LETTER to the Government of Romania and the Ministry of Public Finance

OPEN LETTER to the Government of Romania and the Ministry of Public Finance

Dear madam Prime Minister, Viorica DĂNCILĂ,

Dear mister minister of Public Finance, Eugen Orlando TEODOROVICI,

 

Given the information that has circulated in the public space about the budgetary rectification planned for July 31st 2019, we draw your attention towards the following aspects which we suggest you to take into account regarding the decision-making process about the persons with disabilities from Romania:

 

  1. As we observed in February 2019, the measures of ZERO budgeting for disabilities are being reflected today at a national level as an impending risk regarding the survival of children and adults with disabilities. Despite the alarm signal raised by our community and the civic actions made at that time, you didn’t consider relevant our concerns about the payment of personal assistants for the people with disabilities and the disability indemnisations. Moreover, you publicly assumed the correction of possible incapacities or dysfunctions of payment at the local level through budget rebalancing.

 

  1. Today, according to the existing public information, there are two paths of action taken into consideration for the budget rebalancing in July 2019:

 

  • Local budget rebalancing with an insufficient amount of money in order to cover the payment obligations for the persons with disabilities and their families, despite the public reassurance expressed in February 2019;
  • “Adjustments” of the indemnisation for the people with disabilities.

 

  1. At a national level there are hundreds of cases registered in which assistants of people with disabilities are being sent towards unemployment and notified in regards to the termination of their employment contract or they are being denied of the right to be hired as personal assistants due to lack of funds. Thus, at the level of our organisation only we mapped 12 counties (Suceava, Dâmbovița, Ilfov, Cluj, Botoșani, Brăila, Caraș-Severin, Bacău, Iași, Timișoara, Alba, Galați), where the assistants of the people with disabilities are faced with: the termination of their employment contract, the notification in regards with the termination of their employment contract, the denial of employment and the pressure of being sent towards unemployment.

We should mention the fact that the monetary rights related to the employment as a personal assistant for the child/adult with disabilities paid through the Town/City Halls and the associated rights (paid holidays, transport ticktes etc.) can’t constitute the object of the savings/ budgetary constraints of the local or central authorities. That is because the constraint, the limitation or the violation of these rights represent a violation of a minimal form of guaranteed protection by the actual legislation regarding the people with disabilities, in the absence of the necessary and available services in the community.

 

The size of the situation

These measures, that maintain and aggravate the slips from February 2019, are endangering the lives and the development of at least 315.296 persons with serious disabilities, of which 39.054 are children. Moreover, the dezinstitutionalization reform and the inclusion in the community of 50.000 beneficiaries, minors and adults accommodated in the residential centers is compromised by the cancelation of the constraint mechanism of budgetary allocation from the center.

Almost 673.476 persons benefit from the assistant indemnisations because they take care of people with sight disabilities or serious disabilities; about 300.000 parents were forced to give up on their careers to take care of their family members that have disabilities and to take them to private therapies, because these therapies lack in the public system.

In the two special reports (2011, 2013), when the law specified the payment at a local level, the People’s Attorney showed that the lives of these people was put at risk. A mother asked to be euthanized with her daughter because they were dying in their house and they couldn’t take the humiliations that they had to bare because of the lack of money anymore.

 

The illegality

  This way, through these measures, the special legal provisions regarding the superior interest  of the child and the rights of people with disabilities are being ignored. Thus, contrary to the provisions of the Law no. 448/2006 (art. 50, art. 40), the Law no. 272/2004 and the Governmental Decision no. 978/2015 (art. 4, paragraph 2), the Romanian Constitution (art. 139, paragraph 3), this law violates the norms of law that have been introduced by the legislator as protection for the rights of the children and the adults with disabilities: “(…) The amounts are provided in a proportion of maximum 90% from the state budget from amounts broken down by value added tax based on the number of beneficiaries communicated by the administrative-territorial units”.

  Starting with this budgetary year, the expenses are left entirely to the City/Town Halls, Local Councils and County Councils, that, even in the previous years, with centrally insured budget, often times didn’t make the payments claiming that they lack money for this.

  The principle of decision-making transparency, provided by the Law no. 52/2003, is seriously violated because more than one million people that will be affected by these measures are not consulted and informed in regards to the measures taken into consideration, which we are forced to find randomly in the media.

  The United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) ratified by the Law no. 221/2010 specifies that the persons with disabilities have the right to social protection like the rest of the population. The central budget is a safety measure in the assurance of the social protection of the people with disabilities. Thus, in the “World Report on Disability” the World Health Organization (UN) stated that: “persons with disabilities can have extra expenses because of their disabilities- such as the costs associated with the medical assistance or the need of being supported through personal assistance- and, this way, often times, there are necessary more resources in order to obtain the same results as a person without disability. Because of the higher costs, the people with disabilities and their houses are poorer than the persons without disabilities with the same income. The households that contain a person with disability have higher chances of experimenting material difficulties- including the food insecurity, the lack of a house or poor living conditions, the lack of access to water and sewerage and the inappropriate access to medical assistance”.

 

Requests

 

  Given the facts that we presented so far, we consider that the application of the solution “everyone finds his way”, stated by the Minister of Public Finance represents an attack on the survival of people with disabilities from Romania and it is not acceptable.

  We also consider that the principle of descentralisation can’t be applied by violating fundamental rights and for the purpose of masking the budget deficits resulted from the “inadequate”management of the public funds, which translates through the total disresponsibility of the central authorities towards the community of people with disabilities from Romania.

 

  In conclusion, we request that the Government of Romania and the Ministry of Public Finance will take into consideration the arguments that we have presented in scheduling the budgetary correction planned for July 31st 2019. Otherwise, we reserve our right to appeal to all legal and civic means to counter the war on almost one million vulnerable romanian citizens and their families.

 

Madalina TURZA

President of the CEDCD

Email:madalina.turza@cedcd.ro

Mob:0737545955

Facebook ID:Maria Madalina Turza

Fax:021/7952465

 
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