Deputy Michael Lowry has received confirmation from the Department of Social Protection that 624 Tipperary Families are currently awaiting a decision on their Family Income Supplement application or renewal. Further to a Parliamentary Question laid down by the Independent T.D. it was confirmed that this number applied prior to November 5th, with some applying as far back as June, and the backlog will not be fully eliminated until the end of March 2013.
Deputy Lowry stated;
“The on-going delay in tackling this issue is grossly unacceptable and is putting incredible pressure on families on lower incomes. Behind each of these applications is not just an individual but an entire family that are struggling to make ends meet.”
“Family Income Supplement is, by its very nature, designed to assist those working families who are on a lower income and need some additional assistance and support to keep their heads above water. Families rely on this payment to tide them over through difficult times and to assist them in keeping their heads above water. It is a very real fact that this payment assists families in meeting day to day costs and paying essential bills.“
“It is hugely frustrating for these families that their applications are being left to gather dust on a department shelf while their expenses mount. With the FIS owed to them and no prospect of it being paid Christmas is a very bleak prospect.”
“Time and time again I meet people in the constituency who are simply desperate for this payment to come through and are relying on it to pay essential bills and to maintain the roof over their family’s head. Being forced to wait a number of months for the payment that you are entitled to, during these difficult times, is grossly unacceptable.