Family, Labour and Social Policy Minister Bożena Borys-Szopa was speaking after Polish lawmakers on Friday backed plans to give disabled people unable to care for themselves a new welfare payout of PLN 500 (USD 132, EUR 117) a month.
Borys-Szopa said she welcomed the decision by the country’s MPs, adding that it marked “an extremely important, much-awaited step toward building a society of solidarity, a state that supports people who are unfit to fend for themselves and who face financial difficulties."
She added that it was the government’s responsibility to help those most in need, Poland’s PAP news agency reported.
The new benefits, dubbed “500-plus for disabled people," are among a swathe of initiatives by the country’s governing conservatives to help poorer and disadvantaged members of society.
The new payouts, which must yet be approved by the upper house of Poland's parliament and signed into law by the president, are expected to come into force on October 1.
The Polish president in May signed into effect a plan to offer benefits to all families with children under the government’s expanded “Family 500+” initiative.
Poland spends 2.7 percent of its GDP on state benefits for families and children—one of the highest figures in the 28-nation European Union, according to a report.