Welfare cuts lead to a hike in the live register – Ó Snodaigh
Addressing Minister Joan Burton in the Select Committee on Social Protection this morning Sinn Féin Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the annual estimates are meaningless and the hike in the live register is a consequence of social welfare cuts.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said;
“The additional €685 million now required by the Department of Social Protection is both caused by and contributes to the rising numbers on the live register. Because when the government cut social welfare payments consumer demand suffered, more jobs were lost, less money was raised in the form of PRSI and more money must be paid out in benefits.
“If you cut social welfare payments you shouldn’t be surprised to find that the live register grows, you should expect it to. The live register is now expected to stand at 437,300 compared to the 425,000 which the government provided for in its earlier estimate.
“This supplementary estimate of €685 million was entirely predictable. The estimates produced by this Minister and by the previous one at the start of each year are meaningless.
“They require multiple revisions because, despite the glaring evidence demonstrating the real consequences of austerity, both governments have deluded themselves into believing they can cut their way out of a deficit.
“The entirely predictable consequence of all of these cuts is that social welfare spending has risen during the course of the recession. Since the crisis began the combined budgetary ‘savings measures’ of Fianna Fáil, Labour and Fine Gael have sought to cut €2.7 billion from the social welfare spend but between 2007 and 2012 social protection spending has actually increased by over €5 billion or 32%.”