Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Budget 2013 is attack on children’s rights – O’ Súilleabhan

Cuts to child benefit and the back to school allowance will increase child poverty and constitutes an attack on children’s rights according to a local primary school teacher.  Fionntán O’ Súilleabháin, who is also a spokesperson for North Wexford Sinn Féin, said that these cuts made a mockery out of the government’s recent referendum pledge that ‘every child matters.’

Mr O’ Súilleabháin said;

“Only a month ago the government was pledging their commitment to children’s rights.  In this budget we witness their true loyalty, or lack of, to our children.  Today there are an estimated two hundred thousand children living below the poverty line in this state.  How many will be living in poverty when the full effects of cuts to child benefit and the back to school allowance are felt?”

“Across the board benefit cuts of €10 for the first and second child, €18 for the third child and €20 for the fourth and following children is ludicrously unfair and will impact most severely upon those who are already suffering most.  A family of four children will be down €58 per month in child benefit cuts alone.”

“The Back to School Allowance has never been more important to children and struggling parents alike.  It is a social failsafe that provides families under a certain income with money to buy vital necessities like school uniforms, children’s footwear and text books.  In a time when the provision of this allowance has never been so critical, our government has cut it by €50.”

“In addition to this, the annual respite care grant for children with severe disabilities has been cut from €1,700 to €1,375 for each care recipient.  These handicapped children and their parents have their respite cut so that unsecure bondholders can be paid and an incompetent corrupt banking system can be protected.”

“During the campaign for the Children’s Referendum Fine Gael and Labour put up hundreds of posters around this county urging people to vote yes for children’s rights.  Fine Gael placed their slogan, ‘Every child matters’, on their posters.  It’s a pity that they didn’t consider the children of Ireland on Budget day as they voted them into a future of poverty and hardship.”

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