Monday, November 16, 2009

Meanest cut in decades should be reversed

We have seen a lot of cuts from this Government in recent times. We have seen a lot of cuts from many Governments but surely none as mean as cutting the Christmas bonus for those on social welfare. Families with children use this money to cover basic costs of Christmas and removing it will force many into the hands of ruthless moneylenders. It is all the more galling that the decision to cut the payment was made by politicians who earn 15 times more then those who will be effected.

This payment has also been taken from pensioners. Elderly people use this additional payment to help cover the costs of fuel over the winter and as a result of this cut will undoubtedly go without sufficient heating this year.

This cut is part of a wider agenda of making those who can afford to pay least pay most. Those setting the agenda want us to believe that we must see cuts in social welfare at a time when billions are pumped into the banks. This ruthless agenda also seeks to divide workers, gut the public service, cut funding to the community and voluntary sector and essentially shield those who benefited most from the boom years from paying their fare share.

There is though another reason why this payment should be restored. The withdrawal of this payment takes money out of the local economy and will hurt local businesses. The only people who will gain are the ruthless moneylenders who prey on the poor. The Government should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for putting the poorest in our society into such a vulnerable position. Next week Sinn Féin in Waterford will step up our campaign to have the cut reversed by protesting outside the local social welfare office and taking our message directly to those effected. We will be joined in our campaign by Santa Claus in order to highlight the scrooge type nature of this cut.

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