Flanders PM calls for tighter regulations on social welfare for Ukraine refugees

Flanders PM calls for tighter regulations on social welfare for Ukraine refugees
© Belga

Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon (Nieuw-Vlaams Alliantie, N-VA) on Sunday called on the Federal Government to come up with a “more binding framework” to regulate social welfare allowances for Ukrainian refugees.

The refugees’ right to a minimum integration income has been the subject of many discussions for about a week now. Thanks to their protected status, Ukrainian refugees are entitled to financial support as a subsistence allowance. Early last week, the Federal Minister for Social Integration Karine Lalieux (Parti Socialiste) said that it was up to the CPAS (Public Centre for Social Action) to determine the type and amount of assistance to be granted to a refugee.

But Jambon, whose group is in the opposition at the federal level, claimed that the government devolves its responsibilities too easily to local authorities and called for Federal agencies to set tighter rules. “I hope a better framework of directives will be drawn up for the CPAS,” he said on Sunday on Eén-VRT’s “De Zevende Dag” programme.

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During the same programme, Bree Mayor Liesbeth Van der Auwera (Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams, CD&V) and Jinnih Beels (Vooruit), alderwoman for education in Antwerp Mayor’s Office, indicated that such a framework already existed. What was needed most, they said, was for the CPAS to communicate clearly.

“It’s not as if it’s the first time we have taken in refugees,”Van der Auwera stated. “These refugees have only been here ten days. The framework is already there and it’s clear.”

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