Young people, pensioners, families, people with illnesses and disabilities right across the Carrigaline- Ballincollig Local Electoral Area will be hit the hardest by cuts in Budget 2014, according to Fianna Fáil Area Representative Padraic Vallely
Vallely has accused the government of once again neglecting the needs of people in Cork South Central.
Vallely, who is seeking the nomination in the next local elections outlined what he believes are the ten Budget cuts that will hit the Carrigaline-Ballincollig area the hardest.
1. Withdrawal of 135,000 medical cards: 35,000 medical cards are being taken away from people over the age of 70, while the government is planning to remove a further 100,000 cards from sick people, people with disabilities and those on the breadline.
2. Dramatic hike in prescription charges: Those on medication will soon have to pay €2.50 every time they fill a prescription. That’s a 5-fold increase in prescription charges on this government’s watch – despite the fact that Minister for Health James Reilly promised to abolish the original charge of 50 cent when he took up office.
3. Jobseekers Allowance slashed for under 25s: People under the age of 25 across Carrigaline-Ballincollig who are out of work will see their allowance cut by €44 per week to €100. This measure is essentially an incentive for young peoples to emigrate. It’s clear that this cut will have a huge impact on young people in this county.
4. Removal of telephone allowance: The government is removing the telephone allowance from pensioners. This mean-spirited cut of €114 a year will mean that some people in Carrigaline- Ballincollig may be forced to give up their landlines. There are serious consequence’s to this cut, as many of older people have their personal security alarms and house alarms linked to their landline.
5. Working mothers hit: Working mothers have been targeted with another cut in maternity benefit. On top of the cuts which kicked in this July, from next year mothers will see their maternity benefit cut by €32 a week, to €230. In addition to this, a €10 cut to Child Benefit for the 4th and subsequent child kicks in from January.
6. Attack on small schools: The government is persisting with its blind attack on small rural schools. The cuts to resources for small schools and the increase in the number of pupils required to keep them open, mean that some communities are at risk of losing their local school in the future.
7. Cuts to the capitation grants to our primary and secondary schools: Further cuts to capitation of 1% this year and a further 1% in 2015 will ensure that the majority of our schools in Carrigaline-Ballincollig area will continue to struggle to meet their running costs. The onus of finding the funding to meet school deficits is expected to be borne by the parents many of whom can ill afford it.
8. Abolition of the Bereavement Grant: This is one of the meanest cuts in Budget 2014. It will hit families at their most vulnerable. This was a modest grant that provided some small help to widows and widowers with funeral costs.
9. Making third level more expensive: Despite all the promises the government plans to hit students with yet another €250 hike in the third level registration fee next year. That’s three increases under this government, bringing the fee to €2,750 a year. They are also planning a fourth hike the following year. It makes it more difficult for families, who are not entitled to a grant, to put their children through college.
10. No movement on much needed changes to Farm Assist: The Budget did nothing to reverse previous cuts to the Farm Assist payment Minister Coveney and his Fine Gael and Labour colleagues have forgotten just how valuable the agriculture industry is to this economy and particularly to rural areas in Cork.
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