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Varadkar’s ‘sole motivation is becoming Fine Gael leader’ – Brady

5 May, 2017 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin Social Protection spokesperson John Brady TD has said that Leo Varadkar’s sole motivation in his role as Minister for Social Protection is firmly focused on what he can do to become his party’s next leader.

Speaking as today marks exactly one year since the Government’s formation as a minority Government, Teachta Brady commented:

“Minister Varadkar has his eyes firmly on the prize and his actions as Minister for Social Protection reflect this, no more so in his latest scheme, a national, over-the-top advertising campaign where he takes centre stage.

“This is a campaign that purposely fails to address the real issue at play with social welfare payments which is overpayments rather than fraud. Instead, it is an opportunity for Leo Varadkar to launch a nationwide campaign, pose for photoshoots and take out advertisements online, in the media and on public transport. With that said, his timing for the campaign is impeccable.

“Under Minister Varadkar’s watch, the same inequalities continue for lone parents and indeed, worsen with the most recent Survey on Income and Living Standards showing an increase in child poverty among lone parent families to 26.2%.

“Discrimination is rife within our pensions system and despite talk; Minister Varadkar is yet to do anything to address these issues. Women are punished for taking time out of work for rearing their families, 5,239 sixty five year olds are on Jobseekers payments as oppose to their State Pension payment and the pension age is set to increase even further.

“We have the privatisation of job activation in the form of JobPath which has been handed over to private companies who are driven by profit rather than the job they place a Jobseeker in. We also have growing concerns for the future of other schemes such as Tús, Community Employment and Local Employment Services, due to the Minister’s unjustified emphasis on JobPath.

“Finally, the Minister’s rigid right wing agenda is blatantly obvious in his attitude towards young Jobseekers. Those unemployed who are aged under twenty six continue to be discriminated against on reduced Jobseekers payments and Minister Varadkar believes that this is only right and proper.

“Minister’s Varadkar’s ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude to Social Protection matters is the precise reason why any possible move to leadership will mean nothing new in the Fine Gael agenda.” 

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