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Minister Doherty must ensure adequacy of social welfare payments through a Social Welfare Commission - John Brady TD

14 January, 2019 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has said that adequacy must be ensured in any index-linking plans for social welfare payments.

In an interview over the weekend, Minister Doherty signalled her preference that any future social welfare increases would be based on a new index-linked welfare system.

Speaking this morning Teachta Brady said:

“I welcome the fact that the Minister has stated that she wants to take the politics out of annual increases, particularly given the now infamous fiver for all.

“Every year vulnerable groups have to wait for the Budget to see if they will receive an increase in their payment. There is no security of income for them or for their families. This is something that Sinn Féin have consistently criticised. 

“Ahead of the last election, Sinn Féin committed in our manifesto to establish a Social Welfare Commission which would set the level of income required by different household types in order to ensure that households in receipt of social protection can meet an adequate standard of living.

"This would also ensure that no such household lives in poverty. 

“Last year, I introduced the Social Welfare Commission Bill which I would urge the Minister to consider as part of her plans to examine an index-linked welfare system.

“If such a significant change is to be made to the way in which social welfare increases are introduced then the Minister must ensure that she chooses the fairest system.

“At the latest pre-Budget forum one of the top priorities brought forward by numerous organisations was the need for social welfare payments to be linked to adequacy.

“Simply linking such payments to the consumer price index or the minimum wage does not guarantee adequacy and that is precisely what is needed in any new system.”

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