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Social welfare cuts cannot magically create jobs – Ó Snodaigh

25 November, 2010 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said that the logic underpinning the Government and IMF proposed welfare cuts is insurmountably and indefensibly flawed.

He said, “The justification for sweeping welfare cuts put forward by the government in their four year plan and by the IMF is that welfare payments act as a disincentive to work. There is one insurmountable and indefensible flaw in this logic – there are no jobs.

“The government plan, including its growth and deficit reduction predictions, is entirely dependent on the incredible expectation that if you penalize the jobless enough they will miraculously find gainful employment.

“This type of argument ignores the reality that the number of jobs available in our severely deflated domestic economy is grossly insufficient for the half a million people that are on the live register and emigrating as we speak. Social welfare cuts cannot magically create jobs.

“By slashing child benefit and job seeker payments while at the same time imposing water charges and a property tax, increasing VAT, increasing the carbon tax, cutting the minimum wage and bringing those on poverty wages into the tax net the government are proposing to cripple low income families and by extension they will cripple local economies resulting in further job losses.

“Speaking in a Primetime interview last night Finance Minister Brian Lenihan claimed ‘we all partied’ during the boom years. But that assertion is simply not true. Many, many people in my constituency were barely scraping by at the height of the so-called Celtic Tiger never mind partying. It is grossly unjust to make them pay now for the excesses of Minister Lenihan and his cronies in the banking sector.” ENDS

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