‘Social protection’ in action

Fri, Oct 4, 2013, 01:07

Sir, – Joan Burton, Minister for “Social Protection” (welcome to the Orwellian reality of Ireland), is on a basic salary of over €3,260 a week, taken from the public purse. This does not include the perks, expenses and other public money that finds its way into her pocket.

This same woman has slashed the qualifying monthly rental limits for social welfare rent allowance to €375 for Limerick city – where average monthly rents in the private sector are well over €400 and the average private rent is €450. She has likewise slashed rent allowance limits across the country by differing amounts.

I am 63 years old and used to work as a senior journalist, but now I have a serious vision impairment due to the loss of the use of my one good eye as a result of an assault . Sight in my remaining “good” eye is poor as a result of an injury experienced when I was seven. I live alone in a small privately rented town house in Limerick city centre. I have lived in the property for two years and have made it my home. It is well suited to me given my present disability.

Despite the fact I am still attending regular post-operative hospital care due to having had major surgery to my damaged eye, I am told that as my rent is above the limits by €20 a month my rent allowance is to be discontinued after another month, regardless of whether I have found any alternative accommodation or not by that time.

My landlord had already reduced the rent to comply with the earlier rental allowance limits of €395 a month and cannot reduce it further as he would incur financial loss as a result.

This, then, is Ireland’s Department of “Social Protection” at work. – Yours, etc,

KEITH HARRIS,

Catherine Street, Limerick.