Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie O’Dea TD, says the constant kite-flying by Minister Joan Burton has now passed its sell-by-date.
Deputy O’Dea was responding to reports that Minister Burton is considering cutting the Old Age Pension in October’s budget despite promising not to reduce core social welfare rates in the lifetime of this Government.
“The poorest people in the country who are in receipt of social welfare payments are struggling on a daily basis to survive. They do not need this kind of brinkmanship from Minister Burton where they see headlines telling them their benefits will be cut again.
“Minister Burton is behind all this kite-flying and gives the impression she will stop the potential cuts to cast herself as the hero against the deprivation of Fine Gael. This sort of tactic she has been engaging in for years has now passed its sell-by-date.
“Old Age Pensioners and those in receipt of social welfare payments have suffered as much worry from the constant speculation and uncertainty as from the cuts themselves.
“Despite all the appearances to the contrary, Minister Burton has slashed social welfare payments since she assumed office. There has not been one single reform of the system even though the Minster has promised an overhaul. Minister Burton has used this endless speculation as a mask of the failure to reform the system.
“Minster Burton would be well advised to consider the impact of this uncertainty on the most vulnerable in society before she engages in more kite-flying which the public has now grown weary of.”