Minister’s response to Illness Benefit Crisis is Shocking
Labour spokesperson on Social Protection, Sen. Ged Nash has said:
”The Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection’s response to Illness Benefits payment fiasco has been shocking.
”She has taken a hands-off and lackadaisical attitude to this scandal which affects tens of thousands of citizens who have paid their taxes and social insurance and who expect payments they qualify for when they need them.
”Uncharacteristically, the Minister has gone to ground and she has failed to reassure people that this problem will get fixed.
”These issues have been ongoing for two months now.
”It is nothing short of a lottery where working people one week are getting €33 one week, and €198 on another.
”Many people I have been dealing with are owed hundreds of euros in missed payments or as a result of underpayments from the Department.
”Thousands of people are depending on the kindness of family and friends to help them pay the bills and it is simply not acceptable.
”Many claimants have missed mortgage and car repayments and have had to leave bills go unpaid. Debts are mounting up.
”This will have an impact on the credit rating of hard-pressed citizens who will be struggling to play catch-up with just weeks to go until Christmas.
The Minister’s public interventions to date have left a lot to be desired.
”Minister Doherty needs to take control of this and make it crystal clear when the full weekly payments will be made to all claimants.
”She must also ensure that all citizens who have been left short will be fully paid all of the arrears owed to them and well in time for Christmas.”