THE Socialist party in Majorca has revealed that its policy will be to provide increasingly individualised social services, tailor-made to suit the beneficiary, and to promote retirement at an age appropriate to the profession.

Jaume Garau, Social Welfare director on the Council of Majorca was relating his vision for the future yesterday at an Autumn Conference attended by Majorcan Socialists in Palma.

Garau's claims were backed up by the presence of three regional government ministers - Jaume Carbonera, Housing; Bartomeu Llinas, Education; and Vicenç Thomas, Health and Consumer Affairs.

More than ever before - in times of such economic hardship - urged Garau, social policy should be designed to provide solutions to people's individual needs. “It's unjust to say to someone who works in the port who has been handling a crane all his professional life that he can't retire until he's 70,” said Garau. “On the other hand,” he furthered, “it's not right to say to people who have administration jobs and who are in perfectly good health that they can't work until they're 70-years-old if they want to.” The Social Welfare Director drove home the point that it is “these people” who are contributing to Social Services and enabling the government to provide for the needs of future generations. “We've got to guarantee that future,” Garau emphasised.

The issue in the spotlight at yesterday's second day of the Autumn Conference was whether or not Spain is in fact able to pay for a Welfare State - the unemployed, the infirm, and those in their infancy. Garau claimed that it is feasible for the country to support this sector of society if policies adapt to present-day realities: an increasingly aging population which continues to demand specialised help from government institutions.


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