Government attacking the vulnerable not protecting them
Speaking in the Dáil today on the Social Welfare Bill Arthur Morgan argued that despite the Government's repeated claims of protecting the vulnerable, the government is in reality targeting them with penny pinching cuts that are unfair and damaging to wider Irish society.
Deputy Morgan said:
"St Vincent de Paul President Mairead Bushnell recently warned that 2009 will be the most difficult year for a generation. Two thirds of calls for support to the society were from families with children.
"Increases in social welfare are negated by the hike in the minimum contribution to rent and mortgage supplement and the restrictions placed on families trying to access the child benefit allowance and the early childcare supplement.
"Struggling families with children between the ages of five and six could have €550 taken from their budgets while families with 18 year old children in education will lose up to €1,000 from 2010.
"The Government is damaging the working poor through the imposition of a 1% levy while excluding families dependent on welfare from state protection.
"We are all aware of the state of our public finances, but there were other choices available to the Government. Sinn Féin tabled an amendment today to abolish the PRSI ceiling in the Social Welfare Bill, which would raise €334 million from people who can afford to pay more. But it instead of choosing a fair approach the Government has chosen to hit the most vulnerable in society." ENDS