Seanad debates

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Social Welfare Eligibility

9:30 am

Photo of Maria ByrneMaria Byrne (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister of State for coming here today to outline the criteria regarding the living alone allowance. I have been contacted by many people in this regard. The house of the neighbours of one person became infested with rodents and the person allowed those neighbours – a man, his wife and a small baby – to stay in his house for free for a couple of months while the infested house was being sorted out. It was a rented house. The man ended up losing his living alone allowance even though he was not benefiting from the couple living with him. A teacher was on to me because of the way their pension is structured. The person does not actually qualify for the living alone allowance and is only barely over the threshold. Is there any review under way? The teacher and retired gentleman I was speaking to both live alone and find it difficult. The living alone allowance was used to pay some of the bills. It was extra money towards some of the bills because the cost of living has certainly gone up. I would love to see the criteria reconsidered. For the gentleman who took people in for the greater good and was not benefiting, there has to be some sort of flexibility or leeway. The teacher does not qualify because of the way the criteria are structured. I look forward to the Minister of State’s response.


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