Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie O’Dea has said that following a 3rd successive increase in all adult social welfare payments, it’s clear that Fianna Fáil delivers on its word to support the less well-off and vulnerable.

Deputy O’Dea was commenting after his party secured a €5 increase in weekly payments to all adult welfare recipients from March 25th next year.

“Fianna Fáil has never shied away from its commitment to support the less well-off. Over the past years, we have seen a €15 per week increase in these payments, and we make no apology for demanding these increases as a means of enabling families reliant on welfare payments keep pace with inflation.

“The increase in the number of weeks, from 27 to 28, that the Fuel Allowance is paid to eligible recipients is very welcome. Last winter seemed to go on forever, and for those on fixed incomes, it was very difficult for them to heat their homes and meet their other obligations.

“With the Home Carer Tax Credit increasing from €200 to €300 per year, carers who look after a loved one with an infirmity or a disability will gain from this Budget.

“Reversing the regressive nature of the last Fine Gael and Labour government was, and remains, a key priority for Fianna Fáil. It’s why we decided not to sit on our hands, and shout from the side-lines, like other political parties.

“Despite these hard fought gains, inequality in Irish society still persists; 50% of lone parents are experiencing deprivation and 780,000 people live below the poverty line. The economic recovery has not reached every home and family in the country. People are still playing catch up from the savage cuts introduced by Fine Gael and Labour.

“The 519,353 people who gave Fianna Fáil their vote in the 2016 General Election deserved a party that worked to deliver on its commitments. We recognised that reality and have delivered in terms of social welfare, education, health and housing,” concluded O’Dea.