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Paying for the mistakes of others- Budget reaction

Story by Rodney Farry

Wednesday, 15th December, 2010 5:30pm

A young Russelltown man whose disability benefit and blind pension were cut in last week’s Budget has spoken of his anger at having to pay for the mistakes of others.

Enda Delaney (24) was born with cerebral palsy. Due to his condition, which has left him severely visually impaired and with learning difficulties, he is in receipt of the disablility benefit (€196) and the blind pension (€61). In the last week, he has seen both payments reduced by €8 each.

While Enda says that he will be able to handle this latest round of cuts as he has always been careful with money, the reductions in social welfare payments such as disability benefit and the blind pension, are a reflection of what those in power really think about the most vulnerable sections of Irish society. “It’s unfair really. You see us getting cut and then you see the people at AIB getting a bonus. You have people like the Taoiseach getting a cut, but he won’t miss that. He is getting paid too much anyway.”

On the advice of his social worker, Enda recently moved of his family home to live independently in Mullingar and while he enjoys his new lifestyle and the challenges that it presents, the cutbacks couldn’t have come at a worse time for him as he comes to terms with managing his own budget.

Describing himself as “furious” at the bankers and government, one of his greatest worries is that this budget’s cutbacks are just a taster of what’s to come and his social welfare payments will continue to be hit in the years to come.

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