Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Social Welfare Benefits
Paschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
I thank the Minister of State for her response. She emphasised the point made by Deputy Murphy, namely, that this is causing great worry and upset for people who are already worried and upset because there has been a change in their circumstances. Otherwise they would not be applying for this allowance. They come into my office and contact me with a regularity and a frequency which indicate we have a severe challenge that must be addressed.
I welcome what the Minister has stated in regard to the steps being taken. Does she agree that the current average waiting time of 28 weeks, even on the current system we are looking to replace, is completely unacceptable? I urge her to do everything possible to accelerate this project. I welcome that additional staff are being brought in to deal with the backlog but we must do all we can to help these people because massive undue stress and worry is being caused.