Children bearing brunt of budget – Ó Snodaigh
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has accused the government of making children and young families bear the brunt of the budget. He described the package of social welfare cuts as cowardly and said they will make the basics of food, clothing and shelter unaffordable for hundreds of thousands of families.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said;
“All social welfare payments are core payments. Cutting social welfare is cowardly and indefensible. And cutting social welfare was not necessary, as my own party's fully-costed alternative budget demonstrated.”
Condemning the cuts to Child Benefit, the Back to School Allowance and Respite Care Grant in particular, He continued;
“By design this government set out to target children and their working age parents on whom they depend. This was clear from the Comprehensive Expenditure Review published last year and it has come to fruition today.
“Less than one month since the passage of the Children’s Referendum, we see today the truth of this government’s commitment to children. The numbers of children at risk of poverty and the numbers experiencing acute deprivation will rise as a consequence of this budget. Basics such as food, clothing and shelter will become unaffordable for hundreds and thousands of families.
“Today the Labour Party and Fine Gael government have announced across the board child benefit cuts of €10 for the first and second child, €18 for the third child and €20 for the fourth and following children. A family of four children will be down €58 per month in child benefit cuts alone. The Back to School Allowance is cut by €50. And the annual respite care grant for children with severe disabilities is cut by €350.
“Today's Budget follows in similar vein to last years which also targeted children. In Budget 2012 the government cut child benefit, the back to school allowance and school transport scheme. The cumulative impact of those cuts alone meant that a family with four children lost €1,612 in 2012.”