Dundalk reacts to Budget
DUNDALK parents protested against the €10 cut in children's allowance at a rally in Market Square last weekend.
The impact of the cuts on children and families was the message from around 60 parents who protested against what they called an ' antifemale and anti- child' budget.
' To a lot of people, €10 might not seem a lot, but for parents who are relying on it, it means a lot,' said Lorraine Sloan, from Barrack Street, a single mother-of-one.
Lorraine explained that she decided to get involved in the campaign locally after hearing from other parents how detrimental any cuts in child allowance would be for their family.
' For parents with a number of children, it will be a lot more difficult,' she added.
Budget 2012 saw a cut of €10 for each of the first two children, and will rise to €18 and €20 for the third, fourth and subsequent children, meaning that a mother of three will be €456 worse off.
'Parents are also being hit with the medical card increase, meaning that not only are they losing money, it is also going to cost more to care for children when they are sick.'
Prescription charges for medical card holders also increased by €1 from 50 cents, with a hike in the monthly cap for families from €10 to €19.50 also applied.
' This budget could not have come at a worse time, in the run up to Christmas when parents are already facing the stress of additional costs,' said Lorraine.
'I think the cuts combined with a property tax have just made this a nightmare budget for families. A lot of parents bought their homes when they were very expensive, and now they are looking at a tax, it is unbelievable.'
She added that the Dundalk parents are aiming to set up a group locally to continue with their campaign.
'It is not only the cuts we are facing this year that is a big worry for parents, but also what we will be hit with in the coming year.'
* To join the Dundalk campaign, search for Lorraine Sloan on Facebook, and send a message if you would like to take part.