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Budget fails to deal with poverty and low pay - Senator David Cullinane

15 October, 2014 - by David Cullinane TD

Speaking in the aftermath of yesterday’s budget Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane said:

“Yesterday’s budget did nothing to tackle poverty.

“We have the highest rate of jobless households in the EU, a factor which is directly linked to rapidly rising rates of child poverty.

“We also recently learned that among OECD countries Ireland has the second highest numbers of low paid workers in the developed world. 

“The problem is that it is very difficult to get work if you have limited formal education and a low skills level. 

“Not enough jobs are being created for workers like this and when they do become available they tend to be low value jobs with long working hours and low pay.

“We have to deal with the fact that the state ends up supplementing this exploitation through family income supplement etc.

“Even worse is the fact that a number of young unemployed people have never had any involvement in the labour market.

“Access to the labour market and decent paying jobs with good working conditions are crucial not only for the wider society but for community cohesion and family survival.

“People need work and they need money to participate in society. Poverty wages and long working hours destroy the human spirit and place additional costs on the state in the form of demands on the public health system and on social welfare.

“I was recently appointed as rapporteur of the Oireachtas Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Committee report into low pay and the living wage.

“Hopefully the report will help to drive the debate forward and put pressure on government.   

“Sinn Fein is committed to eradicating poverty and to tackling inequality. If we are to build a more inclusive Ireland then we must ensure that exploitative work practices and low pay are a thing of the past”.

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