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Report shows majority of people on Jobseeker’s Benefit are without a basic standard of living – Crowe

6 February, 2012

The Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has described as “unsurprising” the finding of a report funded by the Department of Social Protection that suggests the majority of families who are dependent on Jobseeker’s Benefit do not have an adequate income for a basic standard of living.

Deputy Crowe said:

“The report was carried out by the Policy Institute at Trinity College Dublin and was funded by the Department of Social Protection. It based its findings on the United Nations definition of a minimum standard of living, which is described as one which meets a person's physical, psychological, spiritual and social needs.

“The survey assessed different households including a single person living alone, a two-parent household with two children and a pensioner couple.

“The findings suggest that in families where two parents with two children have one parent earning a full-time minimum wage, they are unable to meet the basic standard of living. Similarly, where one parent is working full-time and another part-time earning the minimum wage, their income is also inadequate for what is defined as a basic standard of living. In a family where both parents are unemployed and dependent on jobseeker's benefit, there is usually an inadequate income for even a basic standard of living.

“The report’s findings are unsurprising and I know from the people who contact my constituency office on a daily basis that many families are struggling to make ends meet.

“The Government is not helping matters through implementing severe austerity measures on a range of essential services. We need only look at how the education and health sectors have been hit to understand why the situation is deteriorating.

“The findings contained in this report expose the myth that people on social welfare payments are overpaid. This Government should stop targeting the most vulnerable and implement measures that will protect the growing numbers of families who are suffering the most in these difficult times.”

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