Reformist Party leader Radimir Cacic said on Friday said that he would not support the draft budget unless the government reversed its decision to reduce travel subsidies for secondary school students by HRK 94 million.
Speaking at a press conference, Cacic recalled that he had introduced that scheme more than ten years ago when he had served as head of Varazdin County and that he had insisted that the previous government sustain that measure. He added that he was inspired to introduce this measure because only 50% of primary school children who do not live in cities continued secondary school while that percentage in urban centres was as high as 90%.
"That is not the kind of society that we want, that is not a land of opportunity," Cacic said, adding that subsidies for travel allowance impacted 110,000 families.
He added that the average cost of transport for a secondary school child ranged from HRK 300 to HRK 1,000 and that the average monthly salary in areas where subsidies were most needed was around HRK 4,000. It is clear then why so many kids don't continue their education, he said.
He criticised the government for hitting on the most vulnerable while at the same time it was increasing funding for political parties and the costs of public administration.
He further criticised the government for suspending the co-financing of premises built through public-private partnerships in Varazdin and Koprivnica-Krizevci counties. The reduction of HRK 20 million accounts for 7.5% of Varazdin County's budget, Cacic said, adding that he hoped the government would uphold his amendments.