Budget brings no relief to the most hard-pressed in society- Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh
Responding to Budget 2015 Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh said:
“The same government that has subjected struggling people to painful austerity cuts is now offering them crumbs from the table and expecting applause. A meagre Christmas Bonus and a patronising €5 rise in Child Benefit are offered in an attempt to distract from their silent and unscrupulous cuts to social welfare, since coming to power. There is no fairness here, no recovery for the most hard-pressed in our society.”
“The so-called Christmas bonus amounts to a one-off payment of between €25 and €57.50 depending on what age you are. I’d be embarrassed to call this a Christmas Bonus. In any event people are struggling all year round not just at Christmas. Many are still in debt from last Christmas and this is before water charges have kicked in. They need much more than this miserly festive pittance.”
“It is not true that there will be no cuts to social welfare next year – the lone parents income disregard will drop a further €15 and the age of children with respect to whom that payment can be made will drop to just seven years old.
These cuts will proceed in 2015 despite the government’s absolute failure to deliver on the affordable afterschool and childcare that was promised many times. These lacklustre coalition policies fly in the face of the government’s stated objective of supporting people into work.
The paltry government measure introduced today aimed at easing the burden of water charges will not cover the majority of people’s water bills and will not even be available to about 200,000 unemployed households.
And the miserable €5 increase in Child benefit doesn’t even begin to make up for the years of cuts implemented by this government, including cuts to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance for poor children by €100 and the cut to maternity benefit by €32 per week.”