Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Willie O’Dea TD has slammed the Tánaiste and Labour Leader’s record in Social Protection as research conducted by her own Department proves Budget 2015 benefited the better off more than those on lower incomes or welfare. The research showed that the distributive impact of Budget 2015 was uneven, with higher than average gains for the better-off. The most vulnerable 20% saw the smallest improvements.
Deputy O’Dea commented, “This is further evidence of the absolute failure of the Labour Party in Government. Only three weeks ago we learned that Ireland’s deprivation rate had increased to a record of 30.5% and that almost one in eight children now live in consistent poverty. Now it’s emerged that when an opportunity arose in Budget 2015 to address this crisis Labour opted to favour the better off when allocating state resources.
“More than a million people suffered enforced deprivation in 2013. Tánaiste Joan Burton’s record speaks volumes. Since becoming Minister for Social Protection, she has presided over approximately €1.8 billion in cuts to social programmes. The number of long term unemployed has remained static at 180,000 for the past three years, while 74,000 young people are still out or work and not in any education or training schemes. These figures are a direct result of Labour’s policies in Government. This is their legacy. Labour in Government has slashed the very supports which aim to protect vulnerable people”.