The Chamber of Deputies has voted for what Social Affairs Minister Zdenek Skromach describes as the most far-reaching changes to the social system since 1989. Under the new legislation people who require personal care will be able to choose whatever kind of state-funded assistance they want. Furthermore, families who spend more than a third of their income on rent and energy will receive benefits, and changes will be also be made to the system of sick pay. If the new bills are approved by the Senate and signed by the president they will come into effect in 2007.
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