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Budget 2015 won’t end austerity in the homes of carers and lone parents- Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh

15 October, 2014 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

In response to Budget 2015 Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, who will speak later today in the Dail on the Budget, has noted that it will do little to end austerity in the homes of carers and lone parents.

 “The much touted promise that Budget 2015 heralds the end of austerity is laughable as the unemployed, carers and those with disabilities will continue to suffer as this government’s draconian cuts continue to impact our vulnerable members of society.”
While Tánaiste continues to state categorically that,” there will be no reductions to any social welfare scheme in 2015”, Sinn Féin would like to highlight that this simply isn’t true.

“A paltry Christmas bonus and a meagre €5 rise is Child Benefit doesn’t make a dent in the deluge of cuts implemented by this government since 2011. This includes cuts to the Respite Care Grant in 2013 which affected over 70,000 family carers. Carer’s mortgages do not shrink when they give up work to care for a loved one with a disability; neither do their utility or grocery bills. The restoration of €325 to carers was top of the list in Sinn Féin’s Alternative Budget, it would have been €29.6 million extremely well spent.”

“Where’s the fairness in this budget for older people and children? The government’s pathetic €5 gesture in relation to Child Benefit is an insult when you take into account the previous cuts to child benefit, of between €10 and €47 per child, the maternity benefit cut of €32 per week and the cut of the annual Back to School Allowance for the poorest children by €100.”

“We proposed a 10% increase to the Family Income Supplement and a €50 increase in the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance. For lone parents and their children we would have raised the income disregard, not cut it.”

“Our Alternative Budget Submission also recognised that 30% of households are suffering from fuel poverty, which isn’t helped by the government cutting fuel allowance by €120. We proposed an additional three weeks of fuel allowance.”

“The Government’s utter contempt for the unemployed is emphasised by how easy it was for it to decide to give back €690 to a single person earning €120,000 but just €25 to a young impoverished jobseeker in this Budget.”

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