CALLING for a total reform of the welfare system, Fine Gael candidate Cllr Liam Quinn advocates a “one-stop-shop” to deal with welfare matters.
Addressing party workers and supporters in Tullamore, Cllr Quinn pointed out that at present those losing jobs could be waiting for nine or ten weeks for payments to commence depending on the area in which they lived. In the interim, he said, many are forced to approach the HSE to beg for supplementary welfare to tide them over until official benefits commence.
“Strangely, both payments are sourced from the same budget allocation, an example of unnecessary duplication and layers of red tape and inefficiency. In addition there are growing problems with the Statutory Redundancy Budget where there are delays of up to five or six weeks for a variety of reasons including former employers not being up to date in their payments. Many of these redundant employees have family and other commitments while the self-employed who have contributed substantially to the revenue may get no welfare as they do not qualify particularly if a spouse has income.
“Some have found themselves almost totally destitute and have to seek help from voluntary and charitable organisations such as the St Vincent de Paul society to meet mortgage, electricity and other utility payments.”
Chairman of the Offaly branch of Young Fine Gael Neil Feighery has urged voters to support Cllr Liam Quinn at the ballot box on Friday.
“His energy and enthusiasm are infectious and his work as a secondary school teacher in Edenderry means he is well aware of the issues facing young people in the midlands today,” said Mr Feighery. He said the organisation was fully behind the young Rhode councillor.
Meanwhile Mountbolus Fine Gael Branch is calling on all people to come out on Friday February 25 and exercise their constitutional right to vote.
“We must punish this incompetent government for the damage it has inflicted on this economy and we must elect a strong stable Fine Gael led government to lead this country back to economic and social stability. Our future and the future of our Country and our young people depend on it,” they said