Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle criticises 3 month wait for social welfare increases as Budget Legislation published

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Nov 17th, 2017

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The Social Welfare Bill published this week will put in place measures presented in this year’s Budget which saw an increase of €5 in weekly social welfare payments. However, Deputy Pringle has criticised the fact that people will have to wait until March 2018 before they can see their weekly increases.

“Budget 2018 was a false dawn when it comes down to it. Weekly social welfare payments were increased by a meagre €5 a week just like the previous Budget, and the same again will happen where no one will see these increases until the end of March 2018. It’s a repeat of last year’s Budget and the Government is being dishonest with those dependent on social welfare payments day to day.

“This piece of legislation will put in stone what was announced in this year’s Budget yet not only is it not progressive, it’s dishonest. The Government, by increasing weekly rates to €5 is not acknowledging the level of dependency people have on core social welfare supports such as Disability/Blind Pension, Carer’s Allowance, State Pension and the Telephone Allowance not to mention income supports for seasonal workers and making them wait three months into the year before they benefit from changes is in my opinion offensive.

“An honest budget would have acknowledged the need for increases as soon as the New Year commenced. As the Budgetary process concludes this side of Christmas many will have wanted to see an increase to see them through the other side of Christmas and throughout the winter season. For many this is the most difficult time of year and an earlier increase would have acknowledged that fact too.

“Last year I presented an amendment to the Social Welfare Bill to ensure that a Report was carried out by the Department looking at barriers for Seasonal Workers accessing social welfare payments. I have already criticised the Government for failing to publish the Report one year on as we enter a second budgetary cycle.

“While opposition TDs cannot introduce changes to legislation which will cost the State money, I will be seeking to amend the Social Welfare Bill once again in the hopes that the Department of Social Protection will publish the Report and I will look at ways to challenge the 3 month delay for this year and next year’s Budget” concludes Pringle.

ENDS

 

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