An Bord Snip – An attack on the health of the nation

Posted in Blog by saraburke on July 17, 2009

Below is post by me on progressive-economy blog.

The Bord Snip Nua report has the potential to undermine the health of the Irish people and specifically those who already have the poorest health.

Proposing a cut in social welfare rates of 5% shows no understanding of the day to day realities of living on €200 a week. Already the vast majority of the 1.2 million social welfare recipients have received a 2% cut in their annual income when their Christmas bonus was taken away from them in the April budget.

Over 90,000 people who receive rent supplement have also received a further cut through the changes introduced in the October and April budgets which mean they have to contribute about €11 more per week, which in effect is an 8% cut. Basic social welfare rates are already below the poverty line of €228 per week.

Does this government really want to push more people on social welfare further and deeper into poverty and poor health? It is well established that the most important contributory factor to poor health is one’s income, housing, education and work opportunities. Cutting social welfare rates will not just impact on people’s day to day lives and pockets, but also on their health.

The proposals for the health sector are also an attack on the public health service which has been built up over the last ten years. McCarthy et al outline €1.2 billion in cuts in the health area. (more…)