Deeply unfair budget further marginalises the most vulnerable - John Brady TD
In delivering his statement on Budget 2017, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that despite talk the reality will be little benefit for our older people, the young unemployed and lone parents.
Teachta Brady said:
“Instead of tackling poverty, tackling fuel poverty, tackling inequalities and helping to bring about fairness the Government have decided to set aside €1 billion annually from 2018 for a Rainy Day fund.
“The reality is for those living in the real world the rainy day has long arrived.
“Minister Varadkar strutted in here yesterday thinking he was Santa Claus throwing around fivers like they were going out of fashion stating that his social protection measures are “fair, socially just and benefit everyone.” This is fundamentally untrue.
“Those living alone see no increase in the Living Alone Allowance. The Fuel Allowance saw no increase at all. This is at a time where fuel poverty affects 28% of households across the State. The Transitional Pension remains abolished. This continues the absolute farce of those aged 65 who are obliged to retire being forced on to Jobseekers payments for the year.
“A Jobseeker between the ages of 18 and 24 will see their payment increase from €100 to €102.70. A Jobseeker aged 25 will see their payment increase from €144 to €147.80. The message from the Government to our young people remains the same as it was in 2009 – leave the country.
“Lone parents will now be better off transferring from in-work benefits to a Jobseekers payment.
“This Budget, like successive Budgets favours the well-off; it expects our older people to be grateful for a fiver, it discriminates our young people because of their age and it further marginalises lone parents.
“Budget 2017 leaves the most vulnerable with nothing more than a hopeless pebble dash of pennies.”