Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, has urged the government to introduce a Spring Bonus for those relying on working age social welfare payments, including pensioners, people with disabilities, workers, carers and lone parents.
This would provide much-needed support to hard-pressed households struggling with the cost of living crisis, along with additional necessary measures the party has outlined.
Teachta Kerrane said:
“The cost of living is sky high and households are struggling with record energy bills, rising food costs and increased mortgage repayments all putting huge pressure on their pockets.
“Sinn Féin are calling on the government to commit to the payment of a ‘Spring Bonus’ for those relying on working age social welfare payments including pensioners, people with disabilities, workers, carers and lone parents.
“The government has been flying kites about introducing possible measures next week. However, we know from past experience that when this government acts they do too little, too late. We need to see the government deliver for people who need support now.
“Almost 595,000 people, 11.6%, in this state now live on incomes below the poverty line, while the latest Barnardos report shows that food poverty is worsening with 10% of parents forced to use food banks in 2022 and 29% reported skipping meals to ensure their children could eat.
“Average gas bills have gone up by around 140% over the past two years, while the average electricity bill has increased by around 115%. The ESRI estimates households in energy poverty have increased to 29%; a record high.
“A Spring Bonus would provide a lifeline to people who need it, along with additional cost of living proposals that Sinn Féin have outlined. Our package of measures would make a real difference for hard pressed families who cannot be expected to keep waiting for the government to get their act together. The government must ensure that this measure is delivered without delay.”