Pensioners' MP Criticised for Voting Against Increasing Means-Test Threshold

By 4 May 2020

ZAGREB, May 4, 2020 - The association of pensioners MUH and the trade union of pensioners SUH on Monday welcomed the increase of the means-test threshold for free supplementary health insurance in favour the poorest pensioners, while criticising the MP of the Pensioners' Party (HSU), Silvano Hrelja, for voting against this proposal.

"It is surprising that the only elected representative of pensioners in the Croatian parliament voted against this indisputable move in favour of the poorest pensioners, and just because the proposal of his party to increase the means-test threshold did not pass a few months ago," the two organisations said in a joint statement.

Hrelja, a long-serving MP for pensioners "who has been representing the pensioners since he was 45", questioned the right of pensioner organisations to participate in the launch of initiatives and proposals to change the laws claiming that only he as a member of Parliament could represent the pensioners, MUH and SUH said.

They said that the amended Voluntary Health Insurance Act would benefit thousands of pensioners with low pensions who had lost the right to free supplementary health insurance because of pension adjustments.

"The representatives of pensioners demanded that the new means-test threshold be determined at the level of the Croatian poverty line, but since it was not possible to ensure the necessary funding, they agreed to a compromise solution, provided that the means test was aligned with pension growth every year. As a result, the new means-test threshold increased by HRK 60 to HRK 2,000 for single pensioners and by HRK 47 to HRK 1,563 per family member," the statement said.

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