In an interview on Nova TV, Labour and Social Policy Minister Ivanka Shalapatova said that her work focuses on the quality of people’s lives, the unfolding of a person’s full potential. She commented that poverty remains a worrying fact in Bulgaria, especially child poverty.
Bulgaria is one of the first countries to launch a programme under the European Child Guarantee to do everything possible to reduce child poverty and prevent children from living in poverty. “If a person lives in deprivation from childhood and without access to quality services, we are actually depriving ourselves of the opportunity to develop this human capital,” said Shalapatova.
As part of the changes to improve social policy, the Minister listed the replacement of the Director of the National Employment Agency. Asked about the gaps identified in the work of that institution, Shalapatova noted that opportunities are being sought to address all systemic problems regarding the labour market. In her words, the agency is managed in such a way that it misses the opportunity for active people aged 25-64 to participate in training and education and acquire competences.
Regarding the replacement of the head of the Social Assistance Agency, Shalapatova stressed that her goal is to find solutions to improve the satisfaction and motivation of social workers and to make people satisfied with the social service.
Talking about the draft state budget for 2023, Shalapatova noted the increase by BGN 235 million for all social payments at the Labour Ministry this year. Pensions will be increased by 12% as of mid-2023, she also said.