Holy communion and confirmation payments being cut by Government
PAYMENTS for children making their holy communion and confirmation are being reviewed by Minister Joan Burton at the Department of Social Protection.
The financial support system for families has not been reviewed since 1995 and have to be changed to reflect the current economic environment.
€3.4m was spent last year on 14,000 “exceptional” payments for parents on social welfare at an average of €242.
The figure is being cut to €110, he said.
The decision was made following a review by Community Welfare Officers.
“A recommendation came following the review,” Ms Burton told RTE news. “We are still paying €1.5m for clothing for children on social welfare.”
Earlier Mr Gilmore said “lavish” amounts of money were being spent on Communions and confirmations.
“You know there is a lot of very lavish expenditure in some cases associated with communions and confirmations, and I know that many parishes and many schools are anxious to try and get the kind of costs associated with these events under control,” Mr Gilmore said.
"As a result of that, Ms Burton has decided that, as part of the changes she is making to the guidelines, to limit those payments in future to €110 in each case.
“There are parts of the country where the application of the payments varies,’’ he said.
Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald said the move was part of Ms Burton’s ongoing crusade against poorer families.
Ms Burton denied that this was the case.