Fianna Fáil Social Protection Spokesperson Barry Cowen TD has today criticised the OECD over its increasingly right wing agenda following comments by a senior official that unemployment payments should be reduced over time to encourage people back into the workforce.
Speaking in Dublin yesterday senior OECD Official Patrick Lenain said, “In many countries unemployment benefits are high initially and then gradually decline over time. That increases the incentive on the unemployed to go back to the labour marker.
Responding to this Deputy Cowen commented, “The OECD proposal to cut welfare benefits to people who are unemployed in order to push them back into the workforce is not just unfair but is also completely illogical. The fact is that the vast majority of people who are out of work are desperate to take up another job. Punishing them for their misfortune will do nothing to stimulate job creation.
“The underlying assumption of the OECD proposal is that some people are lazy and not interested in taking up employment. Having travelled the country and seen at first hand the suffering of families who have been impacted by unemployment, I completely reject the OECD’s right wing approach and would urge Government to do the same.
“Rather than compounding the difficulties of people who find themselves out of work, through no fault of their own, we must make every effort to assist them by providing job and training measures. As such I welcome the moves by the government to continue with the activation measures introduced by Fianna Fáil in Government."