By Edison Kurani
One of the most widespread principles in democracy is “justice delayed is justice denied”. For years in a row, many people had had to face long court procedures and while time goes by, they realize that their life has evolved without what they were expecting to receive.
Such comparison can also be drawn with the fact that although bonuses are allocated on paper, their payment is not made on time.
Nearly 18 years ago, the then mayor of Tirana, Edi Rama introduced the 5 thousand lek bonus for every child born in the capital. Some years later, Berisha’s government continued this by introducing another bonus for each newly born child with the condition that the child be registered within two weeks.
Although it was a populist plan, it did manage to encourage Roma families to register their children. There were many cases where children from this community went unregistered for several years.
However, both of these decisions were faced with a lack of funds.
Many people know that several years had to go by before the 5 thousand lek bonus was received, while some parents did not receive it at all.
Yesterday, the head of the government also admitted the fact that when he assumed office, he found a 5 million USD unpaid debt for babies who had not yet received the cheque.
Promising that bonuses for newly born children would increase 8 to 24 times, Rama admitted that the previous government was not even able to pay the 5 thousand lek bonus, because of the high amounts of debts that it had. Now, people are not only expecting the new bonuses, 40 thousand lek for the first child, 80 thousand for the second child and 120 thousand for the third child, but they’re also anxious as to when they will be able to receive this amount of money, which is many times higher than the amount given at the present.
How and when will the bonus that Rama is promising for Albanian parents who give birth to children be given?
Albanian Free Press tried to comprehend the communication that PM Edi Rama had yesterday on social platforms regarding the new policies on newly born children.
Rama was quite contradictory about the deadline for the payment of these bonuses.
First he said that “every child who is born in the maternity hospitals of the Republic of Albania will be registered there and will immediately receive the welcoming cheque, which will assist families”.
Teased by the reaction of his followers on Facebook, Rama ditched the first version and said that “we’re discussing the way the new baby bonus will be paid”.
He said that the best way is to pay the amount by monthly instalments, stressing that this is still being discussed, thus confirming that the cheque that he said would be given in the maternity hospital, would become invalid. In another reaction, Rama said that “the entire amount of the bonus will be paid on the first year”.
Anyhow, we just need to wait January 1st to come in order to see when the parents of newly born children receive the money that they’re being promised. This is a good and encouraging incentive at a time when domestic and international reports are constantly raising the alarm for a falling birth rate. But, we shouldn’t forget that a bonus delayed is bonus denied.