Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Arts, Heritage, Tourism & Sport, Sandra McLellan TD has this evening claimed the Government’s Gateway Scheme, “has nothing to do with jobs and everything to do with spin.”
Speaking during a debate on a Sinn Féin Private Members Business motion calling on the Government to abandon the scheme, McLellan said:
“When first elected this government claimed that job creation was a priority. Since the government made that idle promise in 2011 their job creation strategy can be summed up in one word, ‘emigration’.
“It is important to dispel the myths around Gateway. It is not voluntary. It does not involve training or up skilling. It does not lead to a real job. It is not about putting something back into your community as the Taoiseach would have you believe.
“This government programme is an attack on workers’ rights. While I can somewhat understand why Fine Gael might support this programme, I am shocked at the Labour Party’s commitment to this work fare.
“It undermines workers’ rights by sending a message that its ok to pay €1 an hour for someone’s labour.
“Trade unions must join with us and send out a clear message that Gateway is an attack on organised labour and we must organise to oppose it.
“Gateway is product of a government that wants to massage the unemployment figures to suit its own political and ideological goal. This government wants to use the recession and the high unemployment to drive down wages and reverse any gains made by the trade union movement in this state.
“Gateway forces unemployed people to carry out work for local authorities through the threat of cuts and suspensions to welfare payments.
“Sinn Féin calls on the Government to abandon the Gateway Scheme and to instead adopt activation programmes that are based on the principle of equal pay for equal work.”