[Sinn Fein]

24 July 2001

Social welfare payment increase delay a disgrace - O Snodaigh

Dublin South Central Sinn Fein representative Aengus Ó Snodaigh has responded angrily to the news that there will be a six week delay next year in paying social welfare increases to 500,000 people. Instead of getting increases from January 1st, they will now not receive payment until mid-February because the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs cannot get revised welfare books for the euro change over printed quickly enough.

Responding to this news and the effects that it would have on his constituents Mr. Ó Snodaigh said:

``There are over 4,000 people unemployed in the Dublin South Central constituency. Not only do they have to contend with social marginalisation and the scourge of drug-dealing in their communities, but are now being treated as second class citizens by their government. These delays are an absolute disgrace.

``The government should not have brought it forward for cheap political gain before the imminent general election, next Spring. The Minister had two years to prepare for bringing forward the tax year from April to January. I'm sure there are no delay's of this sort in providing increases to the salaries of government Ministers.

``I am calling on the government to pay adequate interest for the delay plus back payments which people will be due in February. It's time for the government to share the wealth, equally and on time.''

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