Govt. Critcised Over Social Welfare Cuts

The Government has been criticised for its plans to cut social welfare rates and for its 'lack' of help with the unemployed.

Social Justice Ireland (SJI) has spoken out against the Government saying that there is absolutely "no justification" for Government to reduce social welfare rates in the Budget 2012.

The organisation believes the government can reduce its borrowing by €3.6bn in the Budget while still protecting Ireland’s most vulnerable people.

Michelle Murphy, Research and Policy Analyst with Social Justice Ireland, said: "Those surviving on low incomes continue to struggle and, unlike other groups in society, have no room to absorb income cuts. Any such cuts would simply deepen their poverty and further undermine their attempts to live their lives with dignity."

According to the organisation’s report on policy issues 14.1% of Ireland’s population is at risk of poverty. While SJI claims 37% of all the households in Ireland are at risk.

Five points have been put to the government as reasons why social welfare should not be cut.

These include SJI’s prediction that inflation will increase by 1.5% in the coming year, the organisation believe that social welfare payments should actually increase.

Meanwhile SJI has said the Government could create 100,000 posts through a part-time job opportunities programme.

The organisation will today propose the plan to Social Protection Minister Joan Burton at the Government's pre-Budget forum.

A fully-costed budget showing how ministers could save the anticipated €3.6bn in borrowing next year without reducing rates, is to be published by Director of Social Justice Ireland Sean Healy.


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