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Fine Gael attack on vulnerable shameful

18 February, 2009

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has today slammed Fine Gael’s social and family affairs spokesperson Olwyn Enright for seeking to slash the rent supplement scheme by 12%. Ms McDonald described the proposal as ‘a disgraceful attack on the most vulnerable in Irish society.”


The Dublin MEP said:


“Deputy Enright’s call for government to further reduce the rent supplement payment by 12% is a disgraceful attack on the most vulnerable in Irish society.


“Ms Enright’s point of reference,, for this demand illustrates just how out of touch the Deputy is on this issue despite her portfolio responsibility within the Dáil.


“The rent supplement scheme is not paid to landlords. It is an emergency payment measure paid to those on social welfare to ensure they are in a position to pay their rents. The rent supplement ceiling in Dublin, for example, is just €130 per week for a single person. Assuming that a person would actually receive the maximum payment they still have to pay €18 themselves each week out of their supplementary welfare allowance of €204. That Fine Gael is targeting this bracket of society to reduce the government budget is absolutely shameful.


“It is also worth noting that those in receipt of the rent supplement live in the lowest end of the rental property market and that the properties advertised on are of the higher end. Many properties on even go so far as to state that recipients of rent supplement or social welfare need not apply. Rental prices may have reduced for the many investors who bought an apartment during the property build boom however the reality is that poor quality rental accommodation costs have not. If the government decide to follow Fine Gael’s lead then the 12% reduction will quite literally come out of the renters pocket and not the landlords.


“It is interesting to note yet again there is really little difference between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil when it comes to targeting the most vulnerable people in Irish society. Shame on both of them” ENDS

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