Delays to Maternity Benefit payments totally unacceptable – Mitchell
Sinn Féin deputy spokesperson on Social Protection Denise Mitchell TD has described as “totally unacceptable” the delays in the processing of Maternity Benefit entitlements which have seen 1,300 women who are currently on maternity leave left waiting for payments. Deputy Mitchell added that “there is no shortage of staff in the Department to organise and plan an over-the-top anti-welfare fraud publicity campaign”.
The Dublin Bay North TD said:
“The birth of a child is an extremely stressful time for families and places a huge financial burden on parents. Maternity Benefit is supposed to help ease this burden. This delay in Maternity Benefit payments is totally unacceptable and serious questions have to be asked of Social Protection Minister as to precisely how these delays have occurred.”
Noting that the Department of Social Protection says it has assigned extra staff to deal with the backlog, Deputy Mitchell said:
“It appears there is no shortage of staff in the Department to organise and plan an over-the-top anti-welfare fraud publicity campaign featuring Minister Varadkar as poster boy. But the same priority does not seem to have been afforded to processing much needed benefits for mothers. I'd appeal to the Minister to refocus the energy he is expending campaigning for the leadership of Fine Gael to ensuring that the much needed supports provided by his Department are delivered to citizens in a timely and efficient manner.”