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Collins calls for full reversal of callous cuts to disability allowance

Putting the cuts on hold is not good enough

Co Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins has hit out at the Government’s failure to reverse outright the savage cuts in disability allowance for young people.

Reacting to the Taoiseach’s announcement last week that the cuts will be put on hold while a “review” is carried out, Deputy Collins said this not good enough, and called for the cuts to be reversed immediately.

“There are many unfair measures contained in Budget 2012 which discriminate against the more vulnerable groups in society. Few of these cuts are more cruel than the huge and disproportionate reduction in supports for 16 to 24 year olds with disabilities,” said Deputy Collins.

“A young adult aged 16-18 is today receiving €188 per week. Under the Fine Gael/Labour plan they will received approximately €71 per week. Those aged 18-24 will see a cut of €88 weekly in their allowance, down to just €100 per week.

“The Taoiseach has said he will set up a review group to look at these cuts, and the cuts will be “on pause” in the meantime. This is not good enough. We don’t need a review to tell us that these cuts single out one of the most vulnerable groups, people who are simply not in a position to work and are dependent on State support. To slash their payments by €88 to €100 a week will have an enormous effect on their lives for very little savings to the exchequer.

“Since the Taoiseach’s announcement, the Minister for Social Protection has attempted to justify her cuts to the disability allowance. I find this incredible, particularly coming from a Labour Party Minister who, just nine short months ago, campaigned on a platform of protecting the vulnerable.

“This is not the time for reviews. Young people with disabilities cannot be left hanging on while their fate is decided. I am calling on the Government to do the right thing, and reverse this decision outright.”

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