I welcome changes announced by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to the Rent Supplement scheme to make it more easily available to victims of domestic violence.
I had raised this important issue in Dáil debates with the Minister for Justice and with Minister Doherty and I compliment Tearmann Dvs and Safe Ireland on their important work in advancing this proposal.
The changes will enable victims of domestic violence to get immediate access to Rent Supplement for a three month period to ensure that they are not prevented from leaving their home because of financial worries. The usual means test for Rent Supplement will not apply for this three month period.
The increase in domestic violence over recent months is a further worrying development and shows clearly the urgent need to provide adequate supports in a timely manner for victims. We also need to see much needed progress in providing refuge accommodation in areas such as Cavan and Monaghan.