In the state budget for 2021, the Norwegian government will set aside NOK 100 million for children and young people with disabilities, Nikolai Astrup (H) confirmed to TV 2.
The Minister of Local Government and Modernization told the channel that the government recognizes the very demanding situation that many, especially children and young disabled people, have been in during the coronavirus crisis.
“Therefore, we have now set aside NOK 100 million in the state budget for 2021, which will go to the municipalities for this purpose. It will contribute to much-needed relief for relatives, to the offer for rehabilitation, and to relief for children and young disabled people,” he said.
“Doing a great job”
Minister of Agriculture Olaug Bollestad (KrF) noted that it was important for these families to receive support now, in order to make up for some of their losses.
“These are families who do a great job. I also believe that they are making an effort for our society, and suddenly they had to handle everything by themselves. It is our responsibility to contribute, and we are raising NOK 100 million,” she said.
Last week, the Joint Organization of the Disabled (FFO) presented a study that shows that people with disabilities and the chronically ill experienced lower functionality and more anxiety and depression as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and infection prevention measures.
Elvestad: Municipalities need to follow up
Talking to TV2, Secretary-General Lilly Ann Elvestad of FFO said that the group is now highly dependent on getting the offer of services back.
She also hopes that the municipalities will follow up on the government’s proposal for funding.
“It’s good that the government is signaling an expectation and an intention,” she noted, adding that it’s important for municipalities to actually follow up and that county governors follow up with their municipalities.
The Socialist Left’s (SV) Karin Andersen, who heads the Norwegian parliament’s (Storting) local government and administration committee, thinks that the extra money is a good thing.
However, she believes that if the funds are not earmarked, they will just be used for other purposes.
“The corona measures have massively affected the disabled and their relatives. They’ve also weakened the municipal economy sharply.
More money without clear requirements for use will, therefore, only end up going down a large drain at this moment,” she said.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today