Gateway initiative is an abuse of the unemployed - Ó Snodaigh
Sinn Féin Social Protection spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has described the Government’s Gateway Initiative, designed to employ long term unemployed for twenty hours a week for an extra €20, as a cheap labour initiative and an abuse of the unemployed.
Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said;
“The Gateway initiative announced by the government in October’s budget involves no training or education or any prospect of long term employment for those being forced to take part.
“The government has cut funding for local authorities and currently has a public service recruitment embargo in place.
“It is now trying to fill the gap by using the long term unemployed as cheap labour for local authorities. This is an abuse of the unemployed.
“The plan is to force people into this scheme with threats of cuts or suspension of welfare payments even though the scheme pays only a fraction of the minimum wage.
“The reality is that people will be less well off by taking part in this scheme when taxes, travel and lunch costs are taken into consideration.
“The introduction of this cheap labour initiative makes a mockery of the Labour Party’s promise to protect the people from the worst excesses of Fine Gael’s right wing policies.”