Today in the Dáil, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, in his statement on the economy, said in response to the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD’s statements last night that she has “a clear understanding of the economic impact of social welfare spending” but that she had cut social welfare spending by €800 million.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“So we see now that she has not been cutting social welfare payments in ignorance of the implications for the economy. Rather she is making and proposing social welfare cuts wilfully and in the full knowledge that doing so will continue to depress demand in the domestic economy, costing further jobs year on year.”
“She proudly championed the handful of Intreo offices that are now in operation claiming it will enable people to get back to work more quickly. She gave the following example ‘If an employer in Sligo has three jobs, the local Intreo office will be able to offer that employer suitably qualified and interested people’, she said.
“That’s well and good,” said Deputy Ó Snodaigh, “but the reality, according to European Commission figures, there will be 150 jobseekers eagerly pursuing and in need of those three jobs.
“Pathways to Work, or Plank Two of the government’s approach to the unemployment crisis is almost redundant, in absence of a credible Plank One, that is, a strategy to actually create and deliver jobs.