Social welfare rates and schemes must be protected – Ó Snodaigh
Speaking at the Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection hearing on the fuel allowance and the Christmas social welfare payment this morning Sinn Féin Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh called on the Government not to cut social welfare rates and schemes in the upcoming budget.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“Social welfare schemes and rates must not be cut. The cost of living has not gone down for the majority of people and is in fact rising. One of the most notable price increases in 2010 is the cost of Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels which rose by 8.5%.
“In our pre-budget submission we call for the introduction of compensatory measures to offset the carbon tax for low income families. I believe that a percentage of the revenue raised from the carbon tax should be allocated to specifically address energy poverty and to subsidise energy efficiency measures for the lowest income groups.
“In addition the Christmas payment should be returned. The return of the social welfare payment at Christmas time would aid struggling families, keep them out of the clutches of money-lenders and help stimulate the local economy.
“A significant portion of the €226 million which the Christmas payment costs would be returned to the Exchequer by way of consumption taxes, employment taxes and dole savings from the jobs protected and created.” ENDS