The Moldovan Society of People with Disabilities has appreciated the pension raises offered by the government. However, with the recent rise in energy tariffs and prices on many consumer goods, the increase in pensions does not cover the needs of people with disabilities. “All the governments so far have sympathized with us, but the situation remains quite serious,” Mihai Mărgineanu, president of the Society, has told IPN on the occasion of the International Day of Disabled Persons.
Another problem is the cancellation, as of May 1, of the tax exemptions enjoyed by enterprises established by NGOs of people with disabilities on imports of raw materials and equipment. They have been replaced with subsidies for the employment of people with disabilities. “This change affected us. Sure, subsidies help to ensure a higher level of pay, but, at the same time, the goods that we make can no longer compete with those made by Moldova’s large manufactures”, says Mihai Mărgineanu. Such enterprises manufacture uniforms, among other light industry goods, and the tax facilities in the past made them competitive in seeking government contracts.
At the same time, Mărgineanu praised the deinstitutionalization efforts that aim to transfer people with disabilities from large nursing homes to community homes of 4-5 people, under the supervision of a caregiver, or in families. “However, due to the poor quality of services that people with disabilities receive at home from social workers, there are still many needy people who want to be placed in nursing homes”, says Mărgineanu.
This year, too, the Society of the Disabled has organized charity meals, food packages and financial aid for the most needy people with disabilities across the country. The organization has 42 branches in all districts of the country, including in the Transnistrian region.
Established by the United Nations in 1992, the International Day of Disabled Persons is marked annually on December 3. People with disabilities account for about 6.7% percent of the Moldova’s resident population, and children with disabilities represent 1.9% of the child population. Almost one in seven of them (15.0%) has a severe disability.