Work for dole proposal and admission of failure by the Government – Ó Snodaigh
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection has described Minister Ó Cúiv’s proposals to make people work for the dole as an admission of failure on the part of the Government to create proper employment.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said the Government’s motivation is to artificially cut the live register figures for electoral purposes.
He said while there are many benefits to people working in the community this should be done through Community Employment schemes with proper training and employment opportunities rather than through some ill thought out and unstructured idea.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“While on the face of it many people will see the logic in this proposal there are a lot of unanswered questions and pitfalls and ultimately it amounts to an admission of failure on the part of the Government to create real employment.
“The Minister’s plan is no substitute for proper job creation. The Government’s motivation is to artificially cut the live register figures for electoral purposes. If they were really interested in community work then why are they cutting community employment schemes?
“This proposal plays into the stereotypical negative view that people on social welfare are just lazy and getting money for nothing rather than claiming back their pay related social insurance which they paid while they were working and to which they are entitled to.
“People with specific skills and qualifications should not be forced to do menial work when they could be spending their time searching out and applying for more suitable work. And childcare needs would have to be addressed for this proposal to be applicable to parents who are currently at home looking after their children.
“Sinn Féin is not against employing people to work in the community but we believe the best way to do this is through the Community Employment Schemes with proper training and employment opportunities rather than some unstructured, ill thought out idea.
“Sinn Féin has called for an increase and modernisation of CE schemes to make them more relevant for the needs of society and local Government and the ring fencing of a set number of places for the young unemployed.
“There is a huge amount of work to be done in communities throughout the state. These include care for the elderly, provision of sports and leisure facilities and other projects mentioned by Minister Ó Cúiv. However, as community groups have pointed out, developing these requires more than simply providing workers from the dole. They must be properly funded.” ENDS