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Cuts to homelessness services lowest move possible – Ellis

27 October, 2011 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on housing Dessie Ellis TD has unreservedly condemned the FG/Labour government’s cuts to homelessness services by 10%. He called the move “the lowest point yet for a government set on punishing the vulnerable for the mistakes of the political and financial elite.”

Deputy Ellis said:

“In Dublin alone we have seen a huge increase in rough sleepers. Simon and other voluntary groups who deal with homelessness are operating above capacity, struggling with the meagre budgets they have to provide for the most vulnerable and marginalised. This cut is an insult to them and their clients. It’s says two things – either the government
feels that homeless people don’t deserve support or they think the voluntary groups aren’t working hard enough. Both of these ideas are totally false and are nothing short of a scandal.

“The government has done very little other than pay lip service to homelessness since they came to power. They now do not even offer lip service as they are taking away essential supports with this cut.

“NAMA should to be used to support our homelessness strategy and to make real progress in ending this terrible example of the great inequality that exists in our society.

“The government must get real about tackling this major issue. There is also the fact that the majority of homeless people suffer with a physical health condition and require support.

“These threaten lives as we enter the dangerous winter period when rough sleepers are most at threat. This comes at a time when €700 million is being paid for an unsecured Anglo bond next week.”

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