Struggling families hit by systematic reduction in Essential Needs Payments


The systematic reduction in the  funding for Essential Needs Payments (ENPs) is placing severe pressure on struggling families throughout the country, according to the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP)

The ENP budget this year (2015) is €27.9m, a cut of 55% since 2011.

John-Mark McCafferty, SVP Head of Social Justice & Policy said  that assistance under Supplementary Welfare Allowance  (SWA) schemes have become  harder to get because of funding cut backs, delays and  the reconfiguration of delivery processes.

"One consequence  is the increasing demand  on the services of charities like SVP, which is now providing approximately €40m annually in direct assistance to families and individuals who seek its help. This is approximately twice what was provided in 2009.” he said.

In 2014 the Department of Social Protection made 107,135 ENPs which is an average of just under €300 per payment.

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