Beke counters criticism of lack of funds for waiting list …


Flemish Minister of Welfare Wouter Beke had to defend himself in the Flemish Parliament on Wednesday against the criticism that the Flemish government is not making enough extra resources available for the waiting lists for people with a disability.

Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon launched the recovery plan ‘Flemish resilience’ on Monday in his September statement, with a total of 4.3 billion euros in one-off investments. In the ensuing debate on the September Declaration in the Flemish Parliament on Wednesday, it was soon and extensively discussed on the waiting lists for persons with disabilities. All opposition parties (Vlaams Belang, SP.A, Groen and PVDA) believe that the government is making insufficient resources available for those waiting lists. They fear that those waiting lists will only grow.

Minister of Welfare Wouter Beke defended himself against this criticism. According to him, the government planned to invest an additional 270 million euros for persons with disabilities this legislature. Instead of releasing those extra resources in tranches over the next few years, the government has decided to advance those resources and provide an additional 270 million euros from next.

According to Beke, this means that an additional 460 million euros will go to the sector of people with disabilities over the next four years. ‘We will discuss the way in which we are going to do that with the stakeholders, with the user organizations’, says Beke.

Are the extra resources sufficient? ‘No’, Beke admits. But according to him, this government is making an unprecedented effort for Welfare. Over the past 10 years, the budget for people with disabilities has increased from 1 billion euros to 1.7 billion euros. Over the next four years, we will add nearly 300 million more. So over 15 years there is an increase from 1 to 2 billion euros. Name one other group for which the budget has doubled in 15 years. ‘

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