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Readers’ panel: On disability allowance

Elizabeth has not seen anything in the Budget that she believes will help her get the operation she needs or help her disabled son.

File photo
File photo
Image: OtnaYdur via Shutterstock

ELIZABETH* LIVES IN Dublin and is on disability allowance. Her adult son is also disabled. Her big concerns were cuts to rent allowance and home help hours.

So the budget has been announced but there are still some nasty surprises waiting in the wings. It will hurt a lot of ordinary people, badly. This budget is not just about bailing out the banks, it’s about changing our society, irrevocably.

The reduction in children’s allowance across the board is indefensible. How can you justify someone on €150,000 per annum getting the same amount as a pensioner on €185 per week? We are constantly being told that  government don’t have the systems in place to make it fairer so they just take it off everyone? I don’t buy this. If it’s really true then why not add €10 a month to those on low incomes?

The increase in motor tax is another negative for me. Again, for those with disabilities who rely on their car as a lifeline there should be some relief.

The decrease in support payments for gas, electricity and phone is very worrying. They haven’t said how much, which goes to demonstrate just how cowardly this government is. Yet another serious swipe at those who already can’t meet basic heating needs. We are already cold and miserable! Reducing this payment further is inhumane.

But of all the announcements the decision to increase taxes on rental income and the household tax could be the most devastating for people like me on disability. There is already a shortage of rental accommodation and the rent supplement has been cut to the bone. I believe this decision will force many buy-to-let landlords in negative equity to walk away from their properties which will, in turn, cause serious homelessness in a section of society that can do little to change their circumstances.

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There was nothing in this budget that will get me the medical treatment I need to return to work. There was nothing to help a 22-year-old young man who is autistic and unable to leave the house. There was nothing that will make a 15-year-old girls life a little easier.

It’s savage and I despair how we are going to manage now. With a 25 per cent increase on a €4 bottle of wine, I can’t even have a glass to commiserate.

*person wished to remain anonymous

Read the verdict from other readers on TheJournal.ie’s panel>

Readers’ Panel Part One: What are you expecting from Budget 2013? >

Readers’ Panel Part Two: What are you expecting from Budget 2013? >

Read more: TheJournal.ie’s coverage of all the latest news from Budget 2013 >

About the author:

Paul Hyland

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