Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection and Social Equality, Willie O’Dea TD, has labelled the latest Government changes to job seekers benefit as a “sneaky move”.
From today, jobseekers who work part-time or part of the week will see their pay entitlement based on 5-day rather than a 6-day week, fall by as much as €80 a week.
Deputy O’Dea commented: “This latest cut to job seekers benefit is a very sneaky move by the Government. This will affect almost 90,000 workers, who will now see their benefits cut again. The Government has tried to sneak in this cut under the radar in a hidden way and it again goes to show how extremely regressive the last budget was.
“Any benefit that job seekers received from the change to the Universal Social Charge (USC) has now been wiped away by this cut. For example, a couple with one child dependent, that works one day a week will lose over €80 a week in benefit. For people on a limited working week or in part-time employment this means an awful lot and could be the difference between eating for a full week or not.
“This is a cynical move by the Government to claw back some of the €47 million they lost on the USC change, taking the easy option of penalising part-time workers to the tune of €27 million. The cut will only serve to further widen the gap between the rich and the poor
“What is even more baffling is the fact that in the Program for Government, it was stated that all social welfare rates will be maintained. This is yet another example of a broken promise by this administration that is quickly losing any credibility it ever had.”