Fianna Fáil want to increase rent supplement if elected

Party proposes additional spending as part of reform plan for social welfare system

Fianna Fáil is proposing an increase in rent supplement and the lone-parent allowance as part of a plan to reform the social welfare and pension system.

The party’s spokesman on social protection, Willie O’Dea, said Fianna Fáil was committed to reforming the system while supporting families and older people.

Mr O’Dea said: “Fianna Fáil recognises the need to build a more equal and cohesive society.

“We will do this by reforming the social welfare system and increasing certain supports.


“Our first year priorities, which would involve an additional €107 million in spending, would include an upward revision of rent supplement caps of between 5 per cent and 15 per cent in areas of greatest pressure, at a cost of €22 million; increasing lone parents’ supports by €33 million; reforming family income supplement (FIS) and replacing the three-day rule for job seekers.”

He also said that Fianna Fáil in government would undo the damage done by Fine Gael and Labour.

“We will build a more equal society, grounded in decency and fairness.

“These two elements have been clearly lacking during Fine Gael and Labour’s time in Government, as they have actively pursued an agenda that has increased inequality and punished the most vulnerable in society, including children, older people and people with disabilities.”

Long-term goals

Mr O’Dea said that the party’s longer-term goals would include reinstating the 32-week fuel allowance season, in recognition of the number of people suffering from fuel poverty; the extension of FIS to the self-employed and the expansion of the living-alone allowance to €20 a week, in recognition of the additional costs faced by those who live alone.

Mr O’Dea said: “Fine Gael and Labour have lacked vision. Our time in Government will be characterised by fresh thinking and innovative measures.

“To that end, Fianna Fáil will establish a new commission to examine putting in place a basic income level, abolish compulsory retirement at 65 and make the homecare package support a statutory entitlement.

“These reforms, coupled with adequate supports, will ensure that our social protection system is responsive to people’s needs and protects those who need it most.”

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins is a columnist with and former political editor of The Irish Times