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Varadkar ‘totally zen’ about delayed maternity benefit payments – Brady

10 May, 2017 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has criticised Minister Varadkar’s laissez-faire attitude to maternity benefit payments.

Speaking this morning, Teachta Brady said:

“Last month, in reply to a Parliamentary Question on waiting times for Maternity Benefit payments, Minister Varadkar provided a figure of 17.7 weeks as the average processing time. This morning on RTÉ Radio, he claimed waiting times were around 6 weeks and even less than this for online applications.

“Yet, his Department officials cannot even provide an estimated waiting time for those waiting for the payment due to the seriousness of the backlog.

“Given that the Minister has himself acknowledged that this issue has been ongoing for a few weeks now, I would question why he has only just today committed to take on additional staff and provide overtime to existing staff. This should have been done weeks ago.

“Clearly, it is not just the leadership of his party that Minister Varadkar is ‘totally zen’ about and an apology to expectant mothers while advising them to visit their local social welfare office for an emergency payment simply does not cut it.” 

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