Valen: Ap uses disabled people as bait

Labour Party Deputy Leader, Hadia Tajik ValenLabour Party Deputy Leader, Hadia Tajik. Photo: Arbeiderpartiet

Valen: Ap uses disabled people as election bait

The Labour Party has criticized the Government’s cuts in the child benefit for the disabled, but does enter into the to elections with promises to reverse the cuts. The Socialist Party’s (SV) Deputy Leader, Snorre Valen, reacts strongly.


– Now Ap must stop using these children and their parents as campaign-bait, the SV-vice chairman says to NTB.

– The Ap-leadership has told these families for several years that they support them. But when it comes to fulfillment and they are being pressured to respond, they will not commit themselves to cleaning up. It just does not work, Valen says.

Last Wednesday Deputy Leader Hadia Tajik and the rest of Labour representatives voted no to a proposal from SV to reverse the cuts in the child supplement. In an interview with ABC News Tajik as late as the day before brought up the cuts in the disability allowance on a ten-point “delinquent list” of priorities from the Government that Labour opposes.

No promises

Tajik is not the only one in the AP leadership who has lashed out against the cuts in the child benefits. Ap Leader, Jonas Gahr Støre, and the other Deputy Leader, Trond Giske, have done the same. The party even has its own factsheet about the matter online.

– SV promoted a wide range of proposals which will lead to huge costs without coverage. We believe such proposals are part of the ordinary state budget process and can not handle major additional efforts in the middle of the year, Tajik told NTB.

But now it turns out that Ap also does not want to guarantee that the cut will be reversed into the ordinary budget treatment even if Støre should become Prime Minister.

“As for the next parliamentary term, we must come back in what way we will strengthen child poverty in the work with every individual Government budget,” Tajik told NTB.

Spare time activities

She argues that the Labuor Party was against cutting the children’s allowance for the disabled when it was adopted by the Governing parties and their partners the Liberals and KrF in the 2015 budget agreement.

– In our alternative budgets, we have later proposed other measures that will help those affected, such as strengthening the scheme that will allow children from low income families to go on holiday and participate in recreational activities.

Valen is not at all pleased with the explanation from Ap.

– That the Labour Party in this way gives false hope to vulnerable youngsters with sick parents simply does not hold water. Some minor holiday provisions do not work like any kind of patch on the wound for an ever more difficult economic situation.

The government’s own estimates show that 367 families are affected by the disability cuts. On average, each family loses NOK 29,410. According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, it would have cost NOK 37 million in 2017 to reverse the change.

Long story

The debate on the child benefit for disabled people goes back several years. In 2011, Ap themselves wanted to cut in the child allowance, but SV won the internal tug-of-war in the red-green Government, and the child allowance was therefore not changed.

In 2014, it was on the burgoise side that the disability strife stood. The Government proposed to standardize child supplement, but lost in budget negotiations with the Liberals and the Christian Democrats. Instead, it was introduced a ceiling of payment of 95 percent of previous wages. The new rules will be phased in and will not come into play before 2019.

The reason for the child supplement is that it may bump against the work line. However In 2014, figures from the Ministry of Finance showed that only 625 people with child benefits earned more on social security than by working. It is estimated that the measure will provide savings of NOK 47 million as a full-year effect.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today