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Dire consequences if meanest cut in decades not overturned – Ó Snodaigh

11 November, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Social and Family Affairs Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD today launched the party’s campaign to have the Christmas Social Welfare payment restored.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh warned that a failure to restore the payment would push those struggling to get by further into poverty and into the arms of ruthless moneylenders. He said the cut would restrict the spending capability of thousands this Christmas further contracting the economy and increasing unemployment.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“This is one of the meanest cuts introduced in decades. Families with children use this money to cover the costs of Christmas and there is a real danger that without it people will be pushed into the hands of ruthless money lenders.

“Elderly people use this additional payment to help cover the costs of fuel over the winter and as a result of this cut will undoubtedly go without sufficient heating this year.

“Many of the people who will be affected by the removal of the Christmas bonus are as yet not aware of the fact. The people affected don’t have savings to cope with this unexpected reduction in their income – unlike the golden circle that this government panders to, the people affected by this cut don’t have nest eggs tucked away or overseas bank accounts that they can turn to.

“The scrooge like nature of the cut, introduced in April’s emergency budget, symbolizes the extent to which this government is willing to throw the least well off overboard while protecting a wealthy elite.

“Not only has this cut dire consequences for those directly affected it is also bad for small businesses and retailers. By taking money out of local towns it will depress local economies and put businesses and retailers who rely on the Christmas trade under further pressure. It will restrict the spending capabilities of thousands this Christmas further contracting the economy and increasing unemployment.

“Sinn Féin is demanding the restoration of the Christmas Social Welfare payment and we will be stepping up our action on this issue in the coming weeks putting pressure on the Government to act.” ENDS

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