Dáil debates

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Social Welfare Eligibility

8:20 pm

Photo of Claire KerraneClaire Kerrane (Roscommon-Galway, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister. She will know the social welfare increases in the budget last year, which are mentioned quite often, followed two years without any increase and she also knows every working age payment is currently set below the poverty line, and very well below it too.

On the exceptional needs payment, I ask that if the urgent needs payment does not have that 30-hour limitation, which is welcome, that it be promoted far more than it is and has been. Under exceptional needs, which is the one most people are directed to, as soon as you look at it, it says assistance with fuel costs very clearly and that is welcome but it is the one with the 30-hour limit, which is problematic. We know there are workers out there who cannot access the fuel allowance, the exceptional needs payment or any supports at all. As Government supports have not to date included anything on home heating in particular, they are not getting any support with heating their homes and that is the problem. I therefore ask that the Department promote the urgent needs payment to a far greater level if that is the case.


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