Government trying to disguise cut to housing grants for the elderly – Ellis

Sinn Féin Housing Dessie Ellis spokesperson has condemned the government for attempting to misrepresent a cut to elderly housing grants as a reallocation of funds. He made his comments as Age Action, an organisation which promotes positive ageing and better policies and services for older people, criticised the cut.

Deputy Ellis said;

“This is a cut plain and simple. It is a well-worn tactic of this government to claim they are reallocating funds to disguise an overall cut. Funds may be reallocated but not back into housing as is so desperately needed.

“The adaptation grant scheme in Dublin had to close last summer due to lack of funds. Now they are making it harder for older people to even be eligible by raising the age to 66, raising contributions and reducing the maximum grant by a fifth.

“If the government and the Minister can’t stand over their cuts then they should reconsider them. For the sake of many older people living in inappropriate conditions I hope they do.”

Lufthansa jobs could have been saved through government intervention – Ellis

_DSC0065Lufthansa jobs could have been saved through government intervention – Ellis

Sinn Féin’s Deputy Dessie Ellis has condemned the government for not intervening in the Lufthansa dispute following the news that 411 workers at the company are to receive their redundancy notice this Friday.

Deputy Ellis said;

“The reality is that many of these jobs could have been saved had the government taken a serious interest in the future of these workers and their families. They didn’t and they allowed the company to treat these workers in a disgraceful manner.

“Earlier today Sinn Féin stated that the Government cannot allow the company to wash its hands of its responsibility to offer the workers a fair redundancy package.

“The company walked away from negotiations with the union. Now the workers and their families will spend the Christmas holidays feeling vulnerable and very uncertain about their financial futures.

“The government must set about securing a future for the plant and not pass the responsibility to other agencies.”

“We must also raise the point about the negative impact this will have on the local economy.

“The Government has a target for 20,000 additional manufacturing jobs and they are failing to reach this target. Each job in the manufacturing sector supports almost two others in the wider community as they are quality skilled jobs.