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Disability benefits must be protected – Brady

1 June, 2016 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady has accused Fine Gael of ‘splashing the cash’ in the last Budget before the election and is now reinstating harsh austerity once more. Deputy Brady was speaking after details of new Minister Leo Varadkar’s briefing by department officials became public.

The Wicklow TD said:

“If this Government proceeds with their plan to alter the age threshold for disability benefit from 16 to 18 years of age, 2,000 teenagers could be affected. Not only would such a decision have monetary consequences, but could have very negatives consequences on the quality of life for hundreds of young people struggling with disability.

“At the same time, we are told that there is no provision for a Christmas bonus this year or any subsequent year, but there were monies available two months before an election. The last Government splashed the cash and now it’s back to callous cuts for some and lucrative tax breaks for others.

“An Taoiseach said yesterday that these briefings were not necessarily Government policy, if that is so, I ask that Minister Varadkar give a direct answer on the question; will the age threshold for disability payments be altered over the lifetime of this Government?” 

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