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Social Protection Minister has been all bluster but no action – Mitchell

9 May, 2017 - by Denise Mitchell TD

Sinn Féin Dublin Bay North TD Denise Mitchell says Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar is more interested in boosting his personal campaign to be next leader of Fine Gael than he is on tackling the issues of inequality in our State.

More than one year on from the formation of this Government, Deputy Mitchell said the Minister has been “all bluster but no action”:

“Minister Varadkar has overseen the same system of inequality and unfairness as his predecessor. This includes the ongoing discriminatory treatment of young unemployed people, while older citizens in the civil and public service are still being forced into mandatory retirement and onto jobseekers payments for a year once they hit aged 65.

“To top it all off, the Department of Social Protection has confirmed it will be writing-off €345million of debt owed to it by companies whose redundancy payments and insolvency costs the Department had to cover. It's a pity the Minister hasn't put as much effort into recouping this money as he has into his self-serving anti-welfare fraud campaign.

“Unfortunately, this attitude is to be expected from a party like Fine Gael which is actively trying to avoid recouping €13billion worth of tax revenue owed by Apple to the Irish people. A new leader, be it Leo Varadkar or anybody else, will not change the fact that Fine Gael believe there is one rule for big businesses and another rule for everybody else. ”

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