Council budget must be changed to protect elderly and those on social welfare pensions says McDonnell

City Hall’s budget must be altered to protect people on social welfare pensions so they do not lose their waiver, according to Independent city councillor Declan McDonnell.

According to Cllr McDonnell, last year’s council budget contained a cut-off for the bin waiver which was set at a level whereby couples in receipt of the maximum social welfare pension, and those in receipt of the Over-80 age allowance, would have lost their waiver.

Cllr McDonnell had the limit increased so that people in the above categories would continue to qualify for a waiver in 2011.

A limit was set again in the 2012 budget, whereby once again these same individuals are set to lose their waiver, but this time “it was not brought to councillors attention before the budget was agreed”.

Cllr McDonnell said he was “disappointed” that councillors “were not made aware of this prior to the budget meeting”.

He is now calling for the budget minutes to be amended to change the cut-off limits so that the elderly and those who qualify for a social welfare pension do not lose out.

“This will mostly affect couples who are in receipt of maximum social welfare pensions,” he said. “Their only income, and they should not be penalised now for having worked all their lives.”

Cllr McDonnell pointed out that the money to provide this service can be found by making small deductions across a number of other departments and he will be requesting this amendment at the next city council meeting.

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