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Doherty calls for end to restrictions on Back to Education Allowance

26 June, 2008


Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has called on the Government to end the requirement for people from low and middle income backgrounds to be unemployed for a period of six months before they can avail of the Back to Education Allowance.

 

Speaking in the Seanad today Senator Doherty said workers who are losing their jobs need to be re-skilled and re-trained in order to take positions in new and emerging industries.

 

He said, “The requirement for a person to be unemployed for a period of six months before he/she can avail of the Back to Education Allowance is hindering people from returning to work, paying taxes and contributing to the economy and society.

 

“Our economy is leaking jobs on a daily basis with the latest report from the ESRI reporting that unemployment will rise by 60% over the next two years yet the Government is compelling people to the dole queues for a period of six months before they can avail of an allowance in order to return to education to be re-trained for new jobs.

 

“Workers who are losing their jobs need to be re-skilled and re-trained in order to take positions in new and emerging industries.  I am calling on the Government to end the ridiculous requirement for a person to be unemployed for a period of six months before being eligible for the Back to Education Allowance.

 

“At a time of recession we should to be facilitating people to get back to work rather than hindering them.” ENDS

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