“We’re Not Cutting Their Benefits”

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00144105Phew.

Not so fast.

Eamon Gilmore went on RTE R1’s  Morning Ireland earlier to explain [to presenter Gavin Jennings} the budget cuts stuff that’s happened to benefits to people under 26.

Caution: It gets a bit ORWELLIAN.

Gavin Jennings: “How will cutting a young person’s dole payment incentivise them into work?”

Eamon Gilmore: “It’s not about incentivising them into work. This government believes that young people should be at work, in education or in training. And that is why we have committed to the Youth Guarantee, this is the idea that no young person under the age of 25 should be out of work or out of education or training for more than four months.”

Jennings: “But then why are you cutting their benefits?”

Eamon Gilmore: “We’re not cutting their benefits.”

Jennings: “But you are. From 188 to 144 or 144 to 100 Euros.”

Gilmore: “Those payments are already in place. What we are doing is extending the age at which those payments will apply.”

Jennings: “You’re cutting the payments to people between 22 and 25 this morning. “Just to be clear.

Gilmore: “Well to be clear about it, what this Government is about is ensuring that young people have a job or have education or training. We do not believe, let’s be very clear about it, this government does not believe that somebody should go on to an employment payment at 18 and still be on it continuously at the age of 25 -26.”

Jennings: “Are you saying it is their fault that they’re not taking up places in jobs and you’re going to punish them for it?”

Gilmore: It’s not their fault. It is the Government’s responsibility to ensure that employment and education and training is provided

Jennings: “But you’re punishing them?”

Gilmore: “And that is why in this Budget we have provided for an additional 500 million Euros package to create employment and generate the jobs into which these young people go. But we also know that for young people to take up employment opportunities they have to have the appropriate education and training and that is why too this budget has 740 million Euros in it for the further education and training sector and why we have in addition provided for 14 million additional Euros for the Youth Guarantee Project for which there is matching European funding.”

Listen here

(Photocall Ireland)