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Argentines hold protest against pension cuts targeting disabled

Hundreds of people have gathered in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, to protest against a recent government decision to take austerity measures affecting thousands of people with disabilities.

Protesters, among them citizens with disabilities, gathered in downtown Buenos Aires on Thursday, holding banners with messages including; “Don’t take away out pensions. Today we defend out rights.”

“The basic right of any person with a disability is to get the minimum wage which is a pension,” said a protester, who insisted they have “no other way to make a living.”

President Mauricio Macri brought back a 20-year-old decree to cut subsidies for at least 83,000 people with disabilities on Tuesday.

The order has eliminated or temporarily suspended a total of 83,133 pensions, according to Argentina’s Clarin newspaper.

People on wheelchairs participate in rally in Buenos Aires on June 15, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

In addition, the government stopped giving new disability certificates for the past year, while another 180,000 requests are still pending approval, the paper reported.

Reports of pension cuts sparked anger in the country, with critics saying the measures that target those with disabilities go too far.

Following the uproar, the government said it will not take away pensions from people with disabilities, describing the move as “an error.”

Since taking office in December 2015, Macri’s administration has pushed at least 1.5 million people into poverty, according to a report released in March by the Catholic University of Argentina.

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