Family, forgotten promises

Tough stand of the Family Policy Institute: "No government intervention for spouses, maternity, and large families"

The Family Policy Institute (FPI) launched a signature collection asking Spanish minister Mariano Rajoy to focus his election program on family and life-related issues. Over one thousand signatures were collected in the first twenty-four hours of the campaign. Now IPF hopes to collect 10 000 signatures in one week. The petition can be signed on the website http://alertas.ipfe.org/, and also with letters to Rajoy asking him to fulfil his election program. The purpose is to show that one cannot legislate turning one’s back to families. In fact, in the letter to be sent to Rajoy are represented the main points of his program that had risen hopes in the adoption in measures for the family and which instead – for FPI – were disobeyed. A soap bubble. “Families don’t deserve a systematically noncomplying government.” Although the People’s Party won the November 2011 election with a large majority vote, “with an ambitious election programme on the family and life, Spanish families continue being forgotten three years later. None of his electoral promises was put into practice”, pointed out Eduardo Hertfelder, FPI President. “It’s a real and true electoral fraud. The abandonment is such that today there are practically no commitments for the family nor the political will to help and protect it”, Hertfelder remarked. The Spanish Prime Minister unfulfilled far too many promises, such as the adoption of an integral plan in support of the family, that was never implemented: “The last time he promised its adoption was November last.” “The family – pointed out the IFP President – is the institution that enjoys citizens’ highest degree of public appreciation, and is also the nucleus on which society is erected. However, governments always forget. Mariano Rajoy promised to adopt many measures in support of the families. But until now everything ended in a “soap bubble”. The present legislature, “whose term ends in a few months, failed to fulfil all the promises for the family and for life. Rajoy Government’s is betraying its constituency and society” on these issues, concluded Hertfelder.Support to maternity. IFP highlights the fact that although the current legislative period is almost over, the Popular Party has failed to fulfil almost all promises regarding the family and life. For example, no form of support has been given to families with children. The sums for dependent children (24,25 € per month for each child) are still frozen since the year 2000, and owing to the low income limits (11,757 euro gross per year including both spouses) 9 out of 10 households cannot even access this paltry benefit. Support to maternity, FPI reports, is “non-existent”. No law has been adopted “on the protection of motherhood with aid measures for pregnant women” nor was changed “the current regulation on abortion to strengthen the protection of the right to life, as well as that of children.” Reconciling work and family. Another sore point concerns the reconciliation of work/family life, which also remains incomplete: “The much awaited measures to reconcile work and the family have not yet been adopted. There are no concrete measures that favour the reconciliation of the work/family life balance, neither for women nor for men – noted the FPI -. In addition, the promised extension of paternity leave was postponed for another year (now until 2016).” And what about the families and families with disabled children? They have been abandoned, nothing was done for them, bitterly remarked the FPI. Still, the Family Policy Institute with its initiative wants to give another opportunity to the Government and Prime Minister Rajoy to redeem himself: “Mr. President – reads the letter that the FPI will be sending to the Prime Minister – you have forgotten your promises. You forgot your electorate. You have forgotten the families. But there is still time. Before the general election in November, you can still help families by ensuring for the immediate approval of the integral plan to support families as you had promised. Do not let Spain become the wagon wheel of the European Union in the field of aid to families.”

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