Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr Jack Chambers
Dublin West

12 February 2016

Two Tier society has to be abolished – Chambers

Fianna Fáil candidate for Dublin West, Cllr Jack Chambers is calling for an end to the existing Two Tier society and Two Tier recovery.

“Harsh and regressive cuts have been the hallmarks of Fine Gael and Labour’s time in Government. Joan Burton and Leo Varadkar deliberately pursued an agenda that took the most from those least able to afford it. It is a fact that every single Budget introduced under Fine Gael and Labour was regressive.

“The cumulative impact of their measures has created real hardship for a large proportion of Irish society. What we now have is a two-tier society and a two-tier recovery. Furthermore, if Fine Gael and Labour are returned to office we can undoubtedly expect more of the same given their promise of introducing an American style tax system which will only create a situation where services are further decimated and supports are slashed to the bone.

“In Government Fianna Fáil have always worked to protect and insulate those on the lowest incomes and if elected we will ensure that people in poverty and those on the lowest incomes are not side-lined in the economic recovery. We will reverse changes made to the one parent family payment, increase pensions,  abolish prescription charges, restore the housing adaptation grant  and have a Minister at the cabinet table with responsibility for disability. These are just a few of the measures that we will introduce to create an Ireland for all.”

Poverty Stats:

  • The Deprivation rate is now 29.0% up from 13.7% in 2008
  • The number of people in consistent poverty has almost doubled  from 4.2% in 2008 to 8.0%
  • The number of children in consistent poverty is 11.2%. This equates to a 1 in 9 children. In 2008 the rate was 6.3%.
  • The number of children experiencing deprivation has almost trebled since Fine Gael/Labour took office. The Deprivation rate is 36.1% up from 13.5% in 2008.
  • The number of children experiencing deprivation has almost trebled since Fine Gael/Labour took office. The Deprivation rate is 36.1% up from 13.5% in 2008.
  • The rate of consistent poverty for lone parent households is 22%, while the rate of deprivation is almost 59%.

Cuts Introduced by FG/Labour:

  • 38 of the 40 cuts introduced by Fine Gael and Labour remain in place
  • €1.6 billion has been cut from Social Protection
  • Abolished the Bereavement Grant – worth €850
  • Abolished the Telephone Allowance
  • Cut the gas and electricity allowances in the Household Benefits Package
  • Fivefold increase in prescription charges €0.50 to €2.50 – James Reilly said they would abolish them
  • Introduced Water Charges
  • Reduced the Fuel Allowance from 32 to 26 weeks
  • Cut Child Benefit (only restored it to what it was in the last Budget)
  • Cut the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance#
  • Reduced the Maximum age threshold for the One Parent Family Payment to Seven – promised a ‘Scandinavian ’childcare system but it never materialised
  • Cut the Respite Care Grant and only restored in the last Budget.

“As a result of the policies of Joan and Leo’s political parties Ireland is deeply unequal and rates of poverty and deprivation have spiralled,” warned Cllr Chambers.

-ENDS-