‘Penalties without prospects’ is how Fine Gael Social & Family Affairs Spokesperson Olwyn Enright TD has described Éamon Ó Cuív’s Social Welfare Bill, which breaks a series of promises and won’t do anything for job creation.
Deputy Enright is the wife of Donegal North East Fine Gael Deputy Joe McHugh.
She said: “The Bill is a huge letdown. It fails to deliver on Government promises for a PRSI holiday for employers taking on new staff.
This measure, originally proposed by Fine Gael and included in the last Budget, was supposed to be in the Bill. But even with 430,000 on the live register, there’s no such proposal.
“Neither is the Government’s promise for home heating relief to offset the Government’s carbon tax.
“Lone parents are also being singled out as the easy option. Minister Ó Cuív provides no rational explanation for this measure, apart from saving money. Yet he fails to offer any real way to help lone parents to get training or education in return for the loss of several years of one parent family payments.
“The principal of the activation of any social welfare recipient is the right one. But this Bill does nothing to provide for the practicality of its implementation.
“The best way to ensure that people do not get stuck in the social welfare system is to make work pay and remove the poverty traps. This Bill doesn’t even attempt to do that.”