Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Social Protection Senator Paschal Mooney has criticised the decision of Minister Brendan Howlin to choose a crude cut in rent supplement instead of taking the opportunity to reform.
Senator Mooney commented, “The Government’s announcement of reductions in the rent supplement is a crude cost cutting measure that lacks a long term solution to the social housing waiting list despite Government promises to introduce fundamental reform.
“The reductions come at a time when rents are stabilising across the state, particularly in Dublin. Without a holistic approach to social housing waiting lists, reducing the supplement may price vulnerable families out of the market and ghettoise welfare recipients.
“The Programme for Government stated that it would reform the Rent Supplement scheme and move people off it onto the Rental Accommodation Scheme using Local Authorities.  There was merit in this idea.  However, the details revealed today gave no indication of these reforms. Instead, Minister Brendan Howlin concentrated on taking the axe to vulnerable households. Once again, we saw a Government failing to live up to the promises of reform it campaigned and was elected on.”