Union says 15% increase required to restore payments to 2009 levels in real terms
Unemployed have suffered 56% increase in deprivation since 2009
May 9th: Unite today called on the new Government to restore Social Protection payments, which were cut in 2010 and 2011 and have not been increased since.
Commenting, Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:
“There is a direct relationship between spiralling levels of deprivation and the 8 per cent reduction suffered by those dependent on Social Protection following cuts in 2010 and 2011, which reduced the basic rate from €204.30 to €188 per week.
“Since 2009, the main groups relying on Social Protection payments – the unemployed, those unable to work due to illness or disability, and lone parents – have experienced increased deprivation, with deprivation rates increasing by a staggering 56% among the unemployed.
“Fine Gael campaigned on the slogan ‘Keep the Recovery Going’. It’s time for Social Protection recipients to start sharing in any recovery.
“Unite is calling for basic Social Protection rates to be increased to 2009 levels in real terms – taking account of inflation. In Euros and cents, this would mean increasing payments by €28 per week, or 15 per cent.
“The cost would be an investment in living standards and in local communities – an investment that would start to be reflected in falling deprivation rates and increased social cohesion”, Jimmy Kelly concluded.