Fianna Fáil Social Protection Spokesperson Barry Cowen TD has criticised the Government’s announcement on Job Seekers’ Benefit. 


He commented, “The government’s announcement of reductions in the six day week for Job Seekers Benefit calculation is a cynical smoke and mirrors exercise to cover up a major cutback. In reality it is a cutback in the rate for part time workers.


“People who can only get part time work or are caring for their children throughout the week will be hit hard by this change in criteria. What is now calculated on a six days basis will be reduced to 5 days.


“In real terms, before today’s announcement, if someone usually works part time for 4 days and this is reduced to three days, they would receive the other three days in welfare.  Now, under the changed measures they will only get two. This is a direct attack on the welfare rights of part time workers and is another straightforward broken promise by the Government.


“The government is hiding behind the technical details but it cannot cover up the fact that the welfare benefit for these people will be reduced. It makes a mockery of the claim in the Program for Government that “We will not reduce Social Welfare Rates”.