Social Welfare Calls for Urgent €27.50 Weekly Increase in Budget 2024

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As the Government gears up for Budget 2024, the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has sounded a significant alarm. The core social welfare rates, they claim, must see an increase of €27.50 per week to align with the rising cost of living, particularly for pensioners, carers, and individuals with disabilities.

A Desperate Plea

In a final plea to the authorities, SVP stressed the urgent need for this substantial adjustment to core social welfare rates to restore their purchasing power to 2020 levels. The charity highlighted that the minimum essential costs have surged by an average of 10.6 percent nationwide over the past year, with a cumulative rise of 18.9 percent in the last three years.

While acknowledging the one-off measures taken in the past, SVP expressed concern that the Budget 2023 adjustments failed to safeguard the real value of these core social welfare rates.

Expanding Child Benefits and Retaining Allowances

SVP also called for the expansion of the Child Benefit scheme to encompass children over the age of 18 who are still in school and receiving the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance. Furthermore, the charity urged the government to permanently retain the €100 increase on the Back to School Allowance, which had been introduced both this year and the previous year.

A Strained Household Budget

Rose McGowan, SVP National President, emphasized the immense difficulties faced by those seeking assistance over the past 18 months. Skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, such as food and energy, have stretched household budgets beyond their limits, leaving people with difficult choices to make.

A Call for Fuel Allowance Enhancement

SVP demanded an increase of €24 per week for the Fuel Allowance rate, currently standing at €33 weekly. The charity argued that the energy crisis remains far from over, with energy-related requests for help up by 60 percent in 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. To effectively combat the crisis, SVP advocated restoring the purchasing power of the Fuel Allowance to 2020 levels and extending its reach to the 50,000 low-income working families currently receiving the Working Family Payment.

Addressing Child Poverty

Highlighting the continued rise in child poverty rates, Rose McGowan stated that nearly 70 percent of the 230,000 calls received by SVP last year came from households with children. The charity stressed the need to break the cycle of poverty, emphasizing that children living in impoverished conditions face a higher risk of poor educational outcomes and early school dropout. With the right policy measures, the government has the power to make a significant difference and create a society where every child can thrive and fulfill their potential.

1 thought on “Social Welfare Calls for Urgent €27.50 Weekly Increase in Budget 2024”

  1. Bianca Crittall

    Seems like you better off to be on welfare than work. We work we just getting by and yet we earn to much for anything. I’m working for my little wage so that I can help ppl on social and there are plenty ppl who can work.
    It doesnt pay to work.

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