Too little, too late on housing grants: Stanley
March 12, 2013
Sinn Féin spokesperson on environment, community & local government, Brian Stanley TD has branded the government’s response to appeals to reverse cuts to housing grants as, “too little too late”.
Stanley, speaking after raising the issue during minister’s Question Time in the Dáil today, said: “The cut in the recent budget to Minister Hogan’s department was 11%, but the cut imposed by the minister on grants for the elderly and disabled in Co Laois was a massive 76%. This is nothing short of vindictive.
“This callous and short sighted approach by the government is to be condemned, a government whose promises to protect the most vulnerable have once again been cynically abandoned.
“In an attempt to save face today, Minister Jan O’Sullivan claimed she will make €2 million available later this year to local authorities for these grants. This is too little too late.
“Minister Hogan has cut the overall spend on these housing grants by €20m for this year: down from €63m in 2011, to €55m in 2012, to €35m for this year.
“The allocation for Laois in 2011 was €936,874 and this has been cut to €208,739 for this year. Offaly’s allocation has fallen from €1.4 million to €500,000 over the same period.
“The €20m required to reinstate funding to 2012 levels could easily be found. One simple measure this government could take tomorrow would be to reduce professional fees by 15%. This alone would save €20m. This money could then be reallocated to the housing grants.”