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NGO representatives call for household income taxation at a meeting held by the Labor and Social Policy Committee

The demand for household income taxation was laid out at a discussion titled: “Our responsibility before children and young people” held in the parliament, organized by the Labor and Social Policy Committee on 9 July 2013. Students, young people and parents’ organizations as well as representatives of NGOs defending children’s rights took part in the meeting.

The Chair of the Labor and Social Policy Committee, Kornelia Ninova, presented to the participants the package of measures, prepared by the committee – increase of young people’s employment, increase of the monthly benefit for care of children aged between 1 and 2 years, the family aid for first graders and the household assistance for heating. The various measures proposed by the parliament and the government will benefit some 900 000 families in the country. The package of social measures could be implemented now without actualization of the budget. Kornelia Ninova reminded that the parliamentary group of Coalition for Bulgaria had taken upon the introduction of the family income taxation and will insist on this to occur with the 2014 state budget. 

Kristina Miltenova, head of the initiative committee called “For more care to the children of Bulgaria” assessed as positive the measure to up from BGN 240 to BGN 310 the benefit for care for children between 1 and 2 years old. She called for price ceiling of children’s medicines.

Georgi Apostolov, member of the Managing Board of the National Network for Children noted that Bulgaria is lacking unified policy in the interest of children and families. In his view the problems won’t be solved by random, urgently taken measures.

The representatives of students and youth organizations raised questions related to the connection between education and business and insisted on linking the education system with the needs of the business and to emphasize on the practical education in the universities.

At the end Kornelia Ninova outlined 9 main topics to be discussed in the next months between the social council (the citizens’ organizations) and the Labor and Social Policy Committee. She noted the issues raised by the NGOs are of the competence of different institutions – government, municipalities, legislature and it is natural for the National Assembly to be the focal point where the future solutions are discussed.

Kornelia Ninova suggested to invite at the next meeting, at the end of July, the Labor Minister to discuss the effects of the absorption of EU funds from OP “Human Resources Development”, the EU funds for the next financial period until 2020 and to discuss the readiness of the country to absorb EURO 100 M for youth employment, the fight against the grey economy and social workers' standards of work.

The issues to be discussed at the next meetings would be healthcare and education, particularly prices of children’s medicines, children’s healthcare, vocational secondary education and how to make the connection between higher education and the economy.

Kornelia Ninova  noticed that the present discussion is held in line with the  initiative undertaken by the parliamentary committees to establish citizens’ bodies to work together with on pressing social issues.  

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