Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie O’Dea TD, says any attempts to cut the disability allowance for children under-18 will again be vigorously opposed.

Reports have suggested that children between 16 and 18 will no longer receive the disability allowance and instead their parents will receive the Domiciliary Care Allowance until they reach 18 years of age.

“While Minister Burton may contend that shifting the payments from children under 18 to their parents may act as an encouragement for them to stay in school, the reality is a lot starker. This is an underhanded attempt to cut the payments these children receive,” said Deputy O’Dea.

“The maximum disability allowance payment is €188, while the rate of the Domiciliary Care Allowance is less than €100 a week. This is a huge difference and could be disastrous for already struggling families who have been hit with rising fuel costs, higher interest rates and cuts to other social welfare payments.

“We already saw an embarrassing climb down by the Government during the savage attack on the most vulnerable people during last year’s budget, I sincerely hope Minister Burton will not attempt the same stunt this year as families are on the brink and can’t take any more hits.

“If the Minister wants to shift the payment of the disability allowance from the recipient to their parents until they reach 18, then the allowance cannot be cut. Surely the sight of disabled people mounting an all-night protest outside the Dáil due to the cuts to the personal assistants shows just how emotive a topic this is.

“Minister Burton must think long and hard before implementing these cuts, which Fianna Fáil will vigorously resist.”