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Government cannot pursue a two-tier recovery – Ó Snodaigh

3 March, 2015 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Speaking in the Dáil today on the issue of welfare supports for families, Sinn Fein TD and Spokesperson for Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh expressed concern that the government is deflecting attention from the savage cuts imposed by its devotion to austerity by partially restoring a support.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:  

“Social Protection spending has a key role to play in tackling poverty, raising living standards, supporting people into work and stimulating demand in local economies.”

“The main purpose of this Bill is to provide for the Back to Work Family Dividend announced in Budget 2015. This scheme will allow some people who cease claiming Jobseekers Allowance or One Parent Family Payment to hang onto their qualified child increases for the first 12 months and half that for a further 12 months.”

“My fear is that the government are pursuing a two-tier recovery based on low paid, insecure and precarious work; all of which actually increase the need for social welfare to subsidise poverty wages into the future.  The government must cease all measures that actively drive down wages, including JobBridge and JobPath, which is due to commence shortly.”

“The Back to Work Family Dividend is a welcome row back due to pressure from myself and others. However, it fails to compensate for the cuts that have been made already to lone parents and that will be made to lone parents this July when the cut-off age for the One Parent Family Payment Scheme is further lowered, with significant consequential loss of weekly income for lone parents who are in work on low incomes. I want the Minister to go whole hog and call off the July cut until such time as the promised childcare is in place.”

“The Bill is a missed opportunity outlining once again the various social protection proposals that we made in our Alternative Budget last October.” 

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