Benefits welcome but austerity still hurting many

    Benefits welcome but austerity still hurting many

    The benefits announced in the budget today and the focus on job creation are welcome and contain a number of changes sought by SVP.  In particular the increase in Child Benefit, but it doesn't go anywhere near restoring what has been taken away; the increased investment in Social Housing; part restoration of Christmas bonus and the extension of the €100 water charge allowance for those in receipt of fuel allowance.

    SVP also sought the extension of the home improvement scheme to the private rental sector but cannot give today's announcement an unqualified welcome as it lacks any reference to security of tenure for existing tenants.

    Many on low paid will be only marginally better off after today's budget.
    But  many of the benefits will be offset by charges already in place such as water and property taxes.

    There remains around half a million unemployed and lone parents who will continue to struggle and will continue to come to SVP for help,

    There are also still many who live in isolation who also need support but there is no mention of the restoration of  community projects that have been discontinued over recent years.

    While this budget has been described by Government as the first step in major a road to recovery SVP believes that it is not a recovery that is fully committed to many who are socially deprived.

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