independent

Sunday 22 October 2017

Hynes slams 'disgraceful' €28 payback

The Mayor of Wexford David Hynes with Phil Clapperton and Paul Doyle of Eircom.
The Mayor of Wexford David Hynes with Phil Clapperton and Paul Doyle of Eircom.

A Wexford councillor has condemned a new Department of Social Welfare policy of deducting €28 a week from recipients who received an alleged overpayment.

A Wexford councillor has condemned a new Department of Social Welfare policy of deducting €28 a week from recipients who received an alleged overpayment.

Cllr. David Hynes (Ind) said he has been contacted by numerous people in a panic over letters received from the Department since the policy was introduced earlier this year.

'This is a major departure from previous procedures which allowed much more discretion at local social welfare office level,' Cllr. Hynes told a Council meeting.

'Now, 15% or approximately €28 of a single person's payment will be taken regardless of the hardship this may cause,' he said.

Cllr. Hynes said it's a pity the Government wasn't as energetic in going after some well-known bankers, builders and their cronies who 'broke the financial back of this country and are still swanning around, living the high life'.

He called on the Minister for Social Welfare to reconsider the decision due to the financial hardship it is causing recipients.

Cllr. Anthony Kelly (Sinn Fein) said there was always an agreement at local level that €5 would be paid off on a weekly basis but €28 is excessive.

Cllr. George Lawlor (Lab) said it is happening not just in cases of social welfare fraud but even where the overpayment is the fault of the Department.

Cllr. Padge Reck (Ind) said there is a reversal of the Robin Hood theory in Ireland. 'We're robbing the poor to pay the rich,' he said.

Cllr. Fergie Kehoe (FF) said he had dealt with a number of cases where people were overpaid through no fault of their own.

'Some of them can't afford to pay back €28 a week. It's disgraceful.'

Wexford People

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