Bahrain puts review of allowances for disabled on hold
Manama, March 18, 2014
Talks on additional benefits for disabled Bahrainis and their families were put on hold yesterday due to disagreements at the Shura Council.
A committee in charge of reviewing the amendments is backing MPs' proposal to increase monthly disabled allowances from BD100 ($262) to BD150, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
However, it is against introducing a daily two-hour break from work for the disabled and relatives who take care of them.
Services Committee chairman Abdulrahman Abdulsalam was absent from yesterday's weekly session through illness, but called to ask for discussions to be postponed until an agreement is reached.
"The conflict is over an article giving two hours of care time off work," said council legislative and legal affairs committee chairman Dalal Al Zayed.
"But if we look into the conditions of the disabled and those taking care of them, we will see it is necessary."
However, fellow council member Abduljalil Al Oainiti argued that the proposed work break was open to abuse.
"Many will ask for time off on the excuse that they want to take care of elderly parents, claiming they are handicapped or confined to wheelchairs," he said.
"Employers will also refuse to hire the disabled because they will just work six hours a day, rather than eight.
"This will also affect work in the government and private sectors, since more than half of the population will be at home resting."
Social Development Minister Dr Fatima Al Balooshi told MPs in November that funds should be directed towards sustainable projects for the disabled, rather than schemes that made them more dependent. - TradeArabia News Service