Crowe slams cut in telephone allowance
By Kernan Andrews
Slashing the telephone allowance by 58 per cent reveals a Government with “no clue how the business world operates” and “alarmingly out of touch with those being affected by their decisions”.
This is the view of Fianna Fáil city councillor Ollie Crowe who has raised this issue following calls from a number of constituents who said the cuts are forcing them to consider cancelling their telephone subscriptions.
The cut in telephone allowance, which came into effect at the end February, saw it slashed from €22.58 per month to €9.50. The figure represents a drop of €156 per year.
According to Cllr Crowe, the cut will primarily affect 395,000 people, mostly pensioners and some recipients on disability allowances.
“We all recognise cuts have to be made,” he said, “but when such cuts could result in an elderly person not being able to call for help in the event of an emergency, it’s time for the Government to rethink their position.”
Cllr Crowe said the Government should have gone to telephone providers and stated that, while there was going to be a reduction in the allowance, that it was now seeking to negotiate a deal whereby all recipients would be on the same provider at a much reduced rate.
“This would still have allowed the Government to make significant savings,” he said. “They would have had a huge market to play off the providers, thereby getting the greatest reduction possible, while simultaneously ensuring no one had to cancel their telephone subscription.”