Signature bungle puts end to parents benefits hopes
A public petition to grant benefits to stay-at-home parents fell flat on Wednesday after hundreds of duplicates were found among the signatures, meaning parliament will not even discuss the topic.
The petitions committee rejected the request after finding that 428 names had been entered more than once, leading the total to drop below the required minimum of 4,500 signatures which the petition had first met.
It was not clear why the names had been entered twice.
Parliament is required to discuss any petition that gathers at least 4,500 signatures within a period of 42 days, and some have made it into law.
Earlier this year, for instance, a petition led to a decision that patients will no longer have to send their medical bills by post to be reimbursed, part of an overhaul to make Luxembourg's health service more digital.
Even if a petition does not have enough backers, parliamentarians can decide to put it forward if they believe it is a good idea. This is how more flexible parental leave for fathers and heavier littering sanctions came into law.
The petition that was rejected asked that parents receive benefits if they choose to stay at home to look after their children until they are 15 years old.
It argues that many children spend long hours each week in crèche or after-school care because both parents have to work full time to make ends meet and that this is not in the interest of the child.