The Workers’ Party have said described today’s budget as a charter for standing still which gives a miserly increase for social welfare while offering no realistic hope for those on housing lists.
Workers’ Party Cork Councillor Ted Tynan said that Minister Donohoe’s establishment of a so-called rainy day fund was risible. “Today is the rainy day and it has been a fruitless day for those who thought they were finally going to get some relief after a decade of austerity or who had hopes for a realistic end in sight to their housing nightmare”.
Cllr. Tynan said the government seemed to be more concerned with property owners and developers than actually putting bricks and mortar together. While 8,000 social housing units might seem impressive it must be seen against a backdrop of 120,000 people on local authority housing lists. “By the time that 8,000 is divided across the state it will be of limited benefit and is far from what is required”.
The Workers’ Party councillor said that media claims of a social welfare “hike” were far from accurate. He said: “€5 a week increase in social welfare can hardly be described as a hike and in fact the new basic rate is still slightly less than it was a decade ago but has a considerably lower buying power. In real terms those on the lowest incomes have gone backwards from an already straitened position”.