Rent allowance cuts ‘indefensible’

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has reacted with outrage against reduction in Rent Allowance payments which have been announced by the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton. The cuts are to come into effect next Monday, June 17.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has reacted with outrage against reduction in Rent Allowance payments which have been announced by the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton. The cuts are to come into effect next Monday, June 17.

“I am absolutely bewildered by the indiscriminate slashing of the rent allowance payment to nearly every recipient outside of Dublin. It is a casual and brutal attack on the living standards of families and individuals who thought that the Labour Party could do little more to drive them into deepening poverty.”

Minister Burton had already signalled during a Dáil debate last week that more stringent qualifying measures are to be put in place for those who are in receipt of welfare payments. She has been criticised however for failing to adequately realise the impact her policies are having on people on the ground.

“I am calling on the Minister to immediately reverse this draconian action and engage with people like community welfare officers all over the country who can see day in and day out the intolerable burdens the cuts that already exist are having. These cuts to rent allowance are the last straw. People who simply have nothing left to give will be forced to deal with landlords who are only prepared to take. There is a social crisis of huge proportions waiting to erupt here,” concluded Deputy McGrath.