Sinn Féin Social Protection Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has been tasked by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Social Protection and Education to compile a report on the consequences of amalgamating all social welfare payments into a single working age payment.
Speaking after a meeting of the committee with department officials this morning Deputy Ó Snodaigh welcomed confirmation that the Troika is not demanding the introduction of a single payment.
He said, “I welcome the confirmation from the Deputy Secretary General of the Department at this morning’s meeting that the Troika is not demanding the introduction of a particular single working age payment but rather are open to whatever options are proposed.
“This morning’s engagement with the department officials was very useful and it is clear that there is a real opportunity for the Oireachtas Committee members and for groups representing those most affected such as people with disabilities, carers and lone parents, to influence the reform of our social welfare system.
“As part of my work as Rapporteur I will be engaging with as many of these groups as possible in the next month. The timeframe for this is very tight with the government having committed to submit an implementation plan to the Troika by the end of March. This morning I committed to submit my draft report to the Oireachtas Committee by the end of February for approval in advance of the March deadline.
“We are talking about potentially the most significant reform of our social welfare system since the foundation of the state. It's vital that we get it right and that we get the timing right. It became clear during the Committee discussion that unless the activation and support services are enhanced, including childcare in particular, such reforms at a time of high unemployment could be hugely detrimental.” ENDS