The head of the cdH group in Belgium’s parliament, Catherine Fonck, slammed Health Minister Maggie De Block (Open Vld) on Thursday over delays in the implementation of a legal provision on the status of family caregivers.
“The Minister is violating the law,” the leader of the Humanist Democratic Centre (cdH) parliamentary group said in a press release.
Fonck had been one of the parliamentarians behind a bill granting official status to family caregivers that was approved by an alternative majority at the end of the past legislature following the implosion of the then ruling coalition. It was due to take effect on 1 October, but the ministerial decrees required for this have not been issued.
“Having been unable to block the adoption of the law, the minister is preventing its implementation by the date set by law,” the cdH group leader said on Thursday. “By not issuing these decrees, the minister is violating the law and preventing thousands of family caregivers from having their condition improved.”
The new law enables a relative who accompanies someone who cannot live independently to be recognised by his/her mutual fund and be eligible, under certain conditions, for paid holidays covered by their pension.
Minister De Block’s spokesperson confirmed to the Belga news agency on Wednesday that there were, in fact, delays but the matter had not been shelved. She explained that meeting the 1 October deadline had been “a real challenge” from the start since technical preparations on the ground, particularly within the mutual funds, was also required.