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Gilmore questions Taoiseach on social welfare cuts

Posted on June 30, 2009 at 07:49 PM

Dole queues are growing  - The Taoiseach fudges questions on whether social welfare payments will be cut
The Taoiseach fudges questions on whether social welfare payments will be cut

The Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD once again raised serious delays for people accessing the services of Community Welfare Officers during Leaders' Questions in the Dáil this afternoon. He cited an example where claimants will have to wait until after July 13th for their claims to be dealt with.

He asked: "This is a service operating for people with no money. Does anyone in the Government understand what its like to have no money?

"One cannot use a credit card because one does not have one; one cannot go to the ATM because one does not have a bank account, or there is nothing in it. The only place one can go if one has no money is to a community welfare officer."

Deputy Gilmore also asked the Taoiseach to clarify rumours from the weekend newspapers that An Bord Snip Nua has recommended social welfare payments be cut and whether their report will be published.

He said: "We are told it is intended to reduce the social welfare bill by €1.5 billion, which represents a cut of slightly over 7% on basic social welfare payments.

"This means that a person receiving €204 per week, which is less than €11,000 per year, would have his or her weekly payment cut by about €14. These are the stories we have been hearing over the weekend."

The Taoiseach fudged answering the question leaving those on social welfare in limbo with no assurances on whether these dramatic cuts will take place.

You can read the full exchange from today's Leaders' Questions on the Oireachtas website. We also apologise for not having today's usual video of the Dáil's proceedings due to technical difficulties beyond our control.

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