On 19 March 2014, in the Sejm, a protest of parents started, aimed against the deception of the prime minister who had announced five years before that he would implement beneficial financial changes for parents and carers of disabled children. Despite his promises, he did not keep his word. And although he met with parents, the suggestion which he had made, significantly diverged from those which he had originally declared and renewed several times

Whereas, the prime minister ‘employed’ his clerks and MPs from the Civic Platform to insult the protesters or devaluate the reason for their protest. The role of a leading mocker was to be played by the parliamentarian Stefan Niesiołowski but he was ridiculed by protesting parents. He was also asked to leave this part of the Sejm hall where there are protesters. Later, on 27 March, in order to undermine the credibility of the protest, the prime minister used another clerk – a spokesman of children’s rights who blamed the children's parents…’breaching children’s rights’ because children ‘are lying on the floor’. Materials and blankets, lent to the protesters by the Office of the Sejm and lying on the ‘floor’ were not noticed by the spokesman. Jarosław Duda from the Civic Platform and proxy of the government for disabled people has not appeared so far.

Discontent to a lie

- From the beginning of Sejm cadency requests were coming to me and other MPs, concerning the improvement of the situation of those taking care of disabled people. And, also since that time, we have been undertaking many actions. Among the others, in the beginning of 2003, I proposed an act project increasing benefits and nursing benefits for this group of people. However, it has still been in the Sejm unrecognized, in the Commission of Social Policy, with the negative opinion of the government – says the parliamentarian of Solidary Poland Arkadiusz Mularczyk. – We also organized many press conferences. We invited those people who are protesting today, as well as specialists related to this issue. The government knew about it. Moreover, proposals and parliamentary questions were often submitted in this issue to the government, we passed information and questions in current issues. It means – the whole range of parliamentary actions. The answer has always been the same. Either of the MPs of the Civic Platform, or government representatives: after our press conference, the parliamentarian Sławomir Piechota or the parliamentarian Marek Plura, both from the Civic Platform were arriving in their wheelchairs and they were saying that the government was doing a lot in this issue. It was similar on 19 March when representatives of disabled children’s parents’ were in the Sejm again. They saw the same scheme again: promises of the government and the two MPs of the Civic Platform in wheelchairs. I think it prompted them for their spontaneous protest action. Parents stayed in the Sejm again, saying that they would not leave the Sejm unless Tusk did not settle what he had been promising them for a few years.

Money will hardly be sufficient for some medications

Parents and carers of disabled children, taking care of them for 24 hours, receive 820 zlotys (at present there are about 120 thousand of such families) provided that, however, they had resigned from work. In their opinion, this money, are not sufficient even for the basic needs. In 2009 the prime minister Tusk promised them that during 3 years a system would be created, thanks to which they would receive endowment equal to the lowest national salary. During other meetings with parents’ representatives, in the headquarter of the government and the Sejm, the prime minister maintained the promise and assured that after annual rises, parents would have received the promised benefits till the year 2017. And he was deceiving them so till every next year. They were waiting patiently, trusting that the prime minister Tusk would fulfill the promise anyway. Whereas, neither in the works of the government nor in the works of the Sejm commissions one did not anticipate even a discussion on such a project. Whereas the submitted project of the Law and Justice party, satisfying parents’ needs, got to the Sejm ‘freezer’. It assumed that the amount of benefit should be 50 per cent of the average salary. Whereas, the salary would appear in the current year.

Everything is documented

Among 30 protesters there is Elżbieta Karasińska from Bytom, with 16-year-old Agata whom she brings up on her own. The child was taken from a hospital with post-partum complications caused by medical mistakes. The further bad medical treatment led to a situation in which the little girl moves in a wheelchair now. She is also suffering from post-traumatic epilepsy and apnea and required care for twenty four hours. Otherwise she may die. It is just Elżbieta Karasińska who said to the prime minister Tusk: ‘Sorry but you are a liar’. Before that mother of Agata and a few dozen other parents had met together and had corresponded with the prime minister about the issue of improving the status of people taking care of disabled children. – Yes, I will repeat it: in my opinion the prime minister is a liar! – emphasized Mrs. Karasińska. – A liar! We have records of these meetings. The words of the prime minister from 5 years before and we treated other assurances as a contract. We have everything documented. Also our correspondence. Not only has he deceived us many times about dates of implementing amendments, but he also led our children to a situation without medications and life in poverty. What is more, a clerk decided that two diapers per 24 hours would be sufficient for a sufferer. And we have allocation! And we have to pay for the rest. It is paranoia. But every month in the first place I have to pay for medications, later for rent. We are not protected at all. We have to pay for everything. Otherwise they will throw us away onto the streets. However, today we are purchasing only these medications which are necessary for our children – medications keeping them alive. In the case of my child I am not always able to but the necessary amount of analgesic drugs. And Agata is suffering a lot… But is the prime minister impudent so much as to lead her to this situation?...

A policy of conflicts

Dorota and Wojciech Kalinowscy from Warsaw are parents of disabled 19-year-old Monika, suffering from child’s cerebral palsy and epilepsy. – We are normal people who are educated and have life experience, who also are also thinking how to solve problems of our country – says Wojciech Kalinowski. – Whereas we are presented in media as a group of with exorbitant and thoughtless claims, as those who are aiming at destroying democracy, as some MPs of the Civic Platform say. The society is persuaded into the opinion that we do not understand the state budget; that we have to consider the fact that the prime minister does not print money, that budget is not from gum, etc. I will say at once: Yes! We do not understand it, because we have been asking for meetings and demanding a dialogue for 5 years. And today the prime minister is saying that we must accept what he offers. So, various media attacks are being aimed against us. There are attempts to lead us into conflicts with various social groups, saying that if we are given money, there will not be any funds for roads or other expenditures. In this way the government is pursuing a policy of bringing us into conflict with the society. It started with the situation that the Civic Platform had introduced an Act taking away benefits for care of disabled adults. It was, as the Constitutional Tribunal decided, lawless. The government must pay these benefits with interests to people. Which clerk or parliamentarian will pay today for wrongly made decision at that time? I emphasize again: all the time the government is antagonizing Poles. It says: we have to take away from somebody else in order to give you. Whereas the employment minister Kosiniak – Kamysz spends 50 million zlotys on the program ‘Empathy’ – electronic information about help for family, which, it is not known, whom is going to serve. But we must understand it. Similarly as the fact that the National Stadium cost 2 milliard zlotys, whereas the same stadium in other countries costs 500 million. We must understand that the government has purchased ‘Pendolino’ for 2.5 milliard zlotys, whereas it has not such infrastructure for such a train. We must also understand that an employment agreement is signed and clerks of the prime minister must get 130 million zlotys of their award. We must understand that the Social Insurance Company must pay 170 million zlotys of award to its clerks, etc. So, I am asking: why doesn’t anybody understand us?


"Niedziela" 14/2014

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: