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Varadkar needs to focus on welfare waiting times rather than leadership bid – Brady

1 November, 2016 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that Minister Varadkar has serious questions to answer when it comes to waiting times for social welfare payments. 

Teachta Brady said: 

“Sinn Féin received the current waiting times for social welfare payments through a recent Freedom of Information request. These waiting times vary but reach as high as 40 weeks. 

“Those waiting on the most crucial of payments such as Invalidity and Carers are left waiting for 21 and 40 weeks respectively. 

“Other payments include waiting times of 19 weeks for Disability Allowance, 27 weeks for the non-contributory State Pension, with children left to wait 17 weeks for Domiciliary Care Allowance.

“In June, I raised the 19 week wait for Carers Allowance with Minister Varadkar and asked what measures he was taking to tackle this outrageous waiting time. Clearly, there were no measures put in place as this has now jumped to a massive 40 week wait, that's almost one entire year. 

“The current waiting times for social welfare payments are absolutely unacceptable. The idea that people who are the most vulnerable in our society are left waiting months for these vital payments is disgraceful. 

“Minister Varadkar is clearly spending too much of his time eyeing up his party's leadership position rather than doing his job. Waiting times is something he needs to tackle immediately. I will be writing directly to Minister Varadkar to ask him what he intends to do to improve this situation.” 

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