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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 November 26 - December 2  > JCP announces proposal for remaking support system for disabled persons
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2008 November 26 - December 2 [WELFARE]

JCP announces proposal for remaking support system for disabled persons

December 2, 2008
The Japanese Communist Party on December 1 announced a proposal for new legislation to replace the present law to promote “self-support” of disabled persons with a new one that will enable them to live with dignity.

Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi explained the proposal at a news conference. He also published the findings of a survey the JCP conducted at facilities providing services for disabled persons concerning the impact of the “self-support” promotion law.

The current “self-support” promotion law came into force two and half years ago. The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties used their force of numbers to enact it in defiance of strong opposition. The law introduced the beneficiary-pays principle to the services for disabled person.

The JCP survey shows that disabled people are forced to pay more for services and that services available to them are more restricted while service providers are facing a financial crunch as well as a shortage of staff.

The JCP proposal stresses, “The current law to promote ‘self-support’ should be repealed because it goes against disabled persons’ self-help efforts. The JCP calls for a new comprehensive law to promote welfare services that truly help disabled persons exercise the right to live with dignity.”

The JCP calls for a legal system that will be in line with the Japanese Constitution and the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which came into force in May 2008.

The impact survey by the JCP found that 70 percent of the 179 facilities call for the beneficiary-pays principle to be replaced. Ninety-seven percent of the respondents said their incomes have decreased due to cuts in remuneration they receive for services.

As an urgent measure for reducing facilities’ hardships, the JCP proposes eliminating the “beneficiary-pays principle” which requires disabled persons to pay 10 percent of the costs of welfare services they receive and to increase remuneration for facilities.

JCP Policy Commission Chair Koike Akira said that it is possible to secure the source of revenue to ensure that disabled persons can exercise the right to live, pointing out that if the unconstitutional system of government subsidies for political parties is abolished, the “beneficiary-pays principle” in services for the disabled can be abolished.
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