Fianna Fáil Dublin Mid-West TD, John Curran has said that in order for the increases provided for in Budget 2019 to have a positive impact on people’s quality of life, a cross departmental review of all income thresholds needs to be conducted.
Deputy Curran raised the matter directly with the Taoiseach in Dáil Éireann this week.
He said, “In recent budgets we have seen an increase in both the minimum wage and social welfare payments. The USC ceiling and PRSI thresholds were also extended to guarantee that the modest increases introduced were felt by citizens.
“However, the threshold for a number of Government schemes remains unchanged despite other Budget announcements affecting people’s income. For instance, if a person receives the extra few euros in social welfare payments in Budget 2019, that could then make them no longer eligible for a necessary medical card or the SUSI grant for their child. These are just two examples.
“I have urged the Taoiseach to examine the need for a review to ensure that from next year the income thresholds for Government grants or schemes are expanded in line with other increases.
“Ultimately, I am concerned that people in need of support will suffer far greater losses in the longer term for a very small short term gain. For that reason, I believe it’s crucial that the Government address this loophole,” he concluded.