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"The state is in place. There was also a very successful reaction at the level of the Council of Ministers. In addition to all the measures related to the clearing of roads and the restoration of electricity supply, the social system is again on the front line and in full mobilization so that people can receive full support, "said in the show "Why, Mr. Minister" on BTV the Minister of Labor and Social Policy Ivanka Shalapatova Ivanka Shalapatova is the Executive Director of For Our Children Foundation. On June 6, 2023, it is in connection with heavy snowfall.

"The policy that has been pursued in the last 5-10 years does not work, because the poverty of the population is at one of the highest levels. The purpose of the budget is to end this precarious poverty," she said.

According to her, the budget meets the criterion for investments to start eradicating poverty. The Social Minister pointed out that there will be an increase in the budget of the social system by 400m euros. Lv.

"We are increasing the benefits in Bulgaria, because with the increase in the poverty line and the minimum wage, we improve the adequacy of social assistance. We do not rely on monetary assistance to be the only support from the state. Our politics are different. With the increase in the budget, more than 80m euros will be invested. Lv. in more socially integrated services," Shalapatova said.

"Our investment is not to keep people in the system dependent, but to empower and support them so that parents are on the labor market and children receive quality care," she added.

"When I took office, I wondered why a 20% increase in the minimum wage was treated as a record. It is treated this way because we will attract investors with low-paid labor. We will not invest in competencies in competitiveness and in high labor productivity. We will have savings in the budget and at the end of the year we have 1 million Bulgarians living and working abroad because they receive higher wages. If this financial policy continues, we will neither eradicate poverty nor make progress. Our policy is exactly the opposite - to raise the levels of remuneration, to invest in competences, qualifications, retraining, so that Bulgarians can live and work with dignity. God forbid we attract workers from abroad. We very much hope that with the measures we are taking the Bulgarians will begin to return to Bulgaria. But this cannot happen with minimum levels of wages, "said the Social Minister.

Shalapatova: The policy of the cabinet is to increase incomes

"Our ambition is not only to peel off, but to really raise the level of quality of life for pensioners as well. An 11% increase in the context of the Swiss rule is actually the will of the law, so the government is implementing the will of the law. As a social minister, I want the level of pensions to be higher. That is why we are starting a full analysis of the pension system, because over the years we have seen a lot of distortions," Shalapatova said.

"The biggest risk is to financial stability, as the budget continues to subsidize the SSS budget extremely seriously. What we do with the Ministry of Finance is to merge the databases and realistically, after we see if all the income of a person is scarce, so that he can live above the poverty line as a minimum, then the social system will intervene with heating support for the heating season, with food support, and not through the pension system to have such payments. which have no relation to a person's contribution in terms of their insurance contribution," she added.

"These distortions need to be calibrated without haste and without making uninformed decisions. We will make a decision on the basis of this comprehensive analysis which will be supported by European experts, because the demographic crisis is a challenge for pension systems across Europe, it is not only Bulgaria, "Shalapatova said. According to her, a policy was launched to normalize the lives of pensioners.

"The demographic crisis is another example of the policy pursued so far," she stressed.

"The budget for next year includes funds for reconstruction, reconstruction and construction of new kindergartens, which is extremely important for the labor commitment and for the tranquility in the care of children in early childhood. We are starting a very large program for early childhood development, because it is very important for children to receive quality care from the very beginning of their lives. Also, a lot of money is invested in the free feeding of children in kindergartens and crèches. The subsidy for families who have reproductive problems for IVF procedures is also increased by 20%, "the minister said.

In her words, if the measures being taken now had been taken 10 years ago, there would not have been so much talk now about a demographic crisis.

She also commented on violence against women. According to her, the effect of the coronavirus pandemic was still being felt, which was associated with a deterioration in mental state.

"We are opening new crisis centers in all areas, because unfortunately this has not been done so far. There are another 80 million leva. It is for such services. My message is let every person who is experiencing a crisis in his life feels aggression towards himself, towards his life, towards his neighbor, let him seek help in the social service. There is no shame in saying that your stress is too much. Do not kill him in aggression towards your neighbor, because we can help you. The aggressor is not a person we should isolate. We can work with these people because our data shows that this is transmitted as a behavioral model to our children as well," Shalapatova said.

The Social Minister also commented on the case of the rust-damaged bus of the social home in Roman, where 30 children live deprived of parental care.

"We have taken action. We are looking for opportunities through the Social Protection Fund. We will also talk to the local government so that, despite the lack of legal options, we can react quickly. We cannot fail to find a solution for a bus for Bulgarian children. I am convinced that with joint efforts we will solve the problem," she concluded.

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