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Antoinette is furious, she's worse off than two years ago

Antoinette Norris was left "shaking with rage" by the Budget.

The mother of five, from Finglas, with an eight-year-old autistic son Adam and a severely disabled daughter Demi (17) said her children have been let down by the system and the Government.

Antoinette is paid €277 lone-parents allowance a week and €153 as a half-carer's allowance because she is already in receipt of another welfare benefit.

She has five children including Mandy (21), Sam (16) and Roisin (9).

"Last year's budget took €700 off us. They knocked €250 off the respite grant, which was €500 for us because I get one for Adam and one for Demi.


"That was a huge blow and with reductions in other benefits it came to about €700 for the year.

"This Budget will give us about €349 back between the extra children's allowance, the 25pc Christmas bonus and the water allowance.

"We're still down €351 on 2012. I can roll with the punches but no one seems to give a crap about my kids.

"Demi is in nappies and can need three baths a day. You get used to one set of cuts and then there's another budget giving us no break at all.

"The worst thing that has happened now is the water charges. I can't afford to pay any water charges. You can't get blood from a stone. I just don't have the money."

Antoinette explains that her rent is €80 a month, the ESB costs €40, gas costs €40 and milk costs €20 a week.


"I get paid and the next day I'm broke again. I do one shop on a Thursday and if it runs out that's too bad.

"I've been trying for three years to get a downstairs bathroom for Demi because her back is arched and it's getting harder and harder to get her up the stairs.

"The doctor says she shouldn't be on the stairs, that it's an accident waiting to happen. I spoke to a Dail committee about the bathroom. I cried in their faces. I'm banging my head against a wall.

"There's nothing in this budget for Demi. She needs round-the-clock care. If she was in residential care she would be costing the State thousands.

"Demi hasn't got a voice and nobody is speaking for her. I can't believe the Budget never even mentioned carers. I'm sitting here shaking. My children are invisible. I'm freaking on their behalf."