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Taoiseach played fast and loose with maternity benefit payments for mothers – Brady

29 June, 2017 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that mothers deserve to know why the Taoiseach “played fast and loose with their maternity benefit payments”.

Raising the issue with the Tánaiste at Leaders’ Questions today, Teachta Brady said:

“This morning, it became apparent that the huge delays in maternity benefit payments did not come as news to the Taoiseach, who was the Minister for Social Protection at the time. In fact, he had been made aware of the delays three months earlier.

“Through Freedom of Information documents, we now learn that staffing levels within the Department had become unsustainable months earlier and warnings were issued. An email sent to the Department in February looking for an immediate injection of new staff went ignored.

“It was not until the delays in maternity benefit made the headlines, three months later, that the Taoiseach made an apology to expectant and new mothers on the delays.

“The Taoiseach along with his Government have shown utter contempt for mothers. It is a disgrace that the Taoiseach stood idly by while mothers were left to struggle at a time in their lives when they should be enjoying motherhood.

“The Tánaiste's response today that the delays have been tackled is not good enough for the thousands of mothers who were left on maternity leave without any payment. The Taoiseach needs to answer as to why he sat on his hands for three months on this issue and chose to do nothing.” 

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