Labour (PvdA) politicians were this week stomping their feet at the social affairs minister’s plan to curb the growth in a special benefits scheme for young people who cannot work because of a mental or physical handicap.
Maybe the Labour politicians should have taken some Ritalin tablets and calmly looked at the trends behind the figures before shouting the minister down.
The number of Wajong claimants has exploded of late due largely to an increase in the number of youngsters with behavioural problems. Of the new claimants, around 15% have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or a related problem.
To limit the influx of young people into the scheme, we don’t need a political row but a sensible examination of the factors fuelling the increase in ADHD-cases.
One factor is a financial contribution to schools who give extra support to kids with behavioural problems. It is an open-ended scheme and can, say some critics, lead to over-enthusiasm in diagnosing ADHD cases. But there are more serious factors that need looking at – such as the decline in society’s tolerance of irregular behaviour, say psychiatrists.
The hectic existence of families with two wage earners means they have little time for dealing with the behavioural problems of their children.
Finding a solution to the problem needs more political leadership and input than what we’ve seen this week. Politicians should grow up and act their age.
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