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Social welfare rates must be protected – Ó Snodaigh

9 November, 2011 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Social Protection spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on Minister Burton not to cut social welfare in the budget.

Speaking today as speculation mounted that €700m is to be taking out of the Social Protection Budget Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“The Programme for Government contains a commitment to protect social welfare rates but there is a real fear that the government will introduce cuts by stealth. There is a danger that the government will attempt to cut €700 million from the social welfare budget by changing eligibility rules and cutting secondary benefits.

“For example thousands of carers across the country will today be in fear that their half-rate allowance will be removed. Thousands more families depending on welfare will be in fear that support for rent, fuel and school costs will be cut. I am calling on the minister and government to live up to their pre-election promises to protect the vulnerable by giving a commitment to take the incomes of social welfare recipients off the table in the budgetary process.

“Any cuts to social welfare payments will be counterproductive. Social welfare cuts ultimately means that the social welfare bill increases, because these cuts mean people have less to spend locally and the result is more job losses and longer dole queues.

“A political decision must be made to target wealth. The government should refuse to pay the promissory notes in Anglo Irish Bank and use the money to retain social welfare payments and invest in jobs to reduce the demand for welfare. I will be raising this with the government in the Dáil this evening.” ENDS

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