Social Welfare Bill will not address child poverty – Mitchell
The Social Welfare Bill that is going before the House this week does not address inequalities and the needs of the people, according to Sinn Féin TD and Junior Spokesperson for Social Protection Denise Mitchell who spoke in the Dáil on the Bill which will put in place the changes made to social welfare rates in the Budget.
The TD for Dublin Day North said:
“I see in my constituency of Dublin Bay North every day what people are facing. The approach of seeing the reality of people’s lives was not unfortunately mirrored in the policy behind the present Bill. It does not effectively deal with people who most require the assistance of the State.
“We in Sinn Féin would propose much to be altered in the content of this Bill. We would, among other things, seek a greater rise in social welfare rates for the under-26’s, an increase to the fuel allowance and we would seek changes to the transition state pension as well as addressing the living alone allowance.
“We have a consistent child poverty rate of 11.2% and the Bill is not addressing this problem. The Bill has neglected pensioners, predominantly women, who were affected by the changes in pension bands introduced in 2012. Sinn Féin had proposed in our alternative Budget 2017 to restore these bands to address a major inequality. Many women remain now under this Governments Budget at a particular disadvantage on retirement.
“The Minster seems not to see the problems facing people. I invite the Minster to my constituency in Dublin Bay North. I invite him to see first-hand the difficulties people are facing on a daily bases and what effect this Social Welfare Bill will have.”