Some 15,000 demonstrate against sheltered workplace cuts

Some 15,000 people gathered close to parliament in The Hague on Thursday to protest at government plans to reduce spending on sheltered workplace schemes for the handicapped.

The government is planning to transfer responsibility for sheltered work schemes to local authorities and merge funding with the special incapacity benefit for youngsters.
Some 100,000 people currently do paid work in special centres for the handicapped, but the government wants to cut that total to 30,000. Those who lose their places will be encouraged to join the regular workforce.
If people are not able to work hard enough to qualify for the minimum wage, employers will be able to cut salaries and the local councils will make up the difference, ministers said earlier this year.
The government hopes the new system will save €1.8bn a year within 30 years.
Government shakes up welfare, incapacity benefit safety net
Councils want more cash to take over government jobs
More people with a handicap find regular work

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