Independent TD Mattie McGrath has described a notification from Labour Party Minister of State Kevin Humphreys that tenants in private rented accommodation or local authority accommodation will not receive flood assistance grants as outrageous. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Minister confirmed to him that any loss or damage to such properties will not qualify for grants or emergency payments under the Assistance Schemes established by government:
“This letter represents a total reversal of the government’s stated policy with respect to those who would ordinarily qualify for assistance.
It beggars belief that this Minister is now confirming that if you or your family have had your local authority or private rented home damaged or destroyed, you will get no assistance whatsoever.
The letter also confirms that only €570,000 has been paid out to about to about 466 households despite over €7 million being put aside.
This demonstrates the massive backlog in cases that have to be dealt with and the amount of families that are still awaiting any kind of payment under either the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme or the Scheme operated for businesses by the Red Cross.
I am calling on the Minister who is charged with overseeing these payments to immediately clarify if this position with respect to local authority residents is going to be continued.
The cameras may have gone and the government parties may have put this issue back to the bottom of their list; but for those communities and families affected by the floods, this issue is still of deep concern,” concluded Deputy McGrath