Skilled workers who cannot find employment, those who have emigrated to find work, lone parents who had to give up their jobs as they can no longer afford childcare following cuts to benefits, have been insulted by the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.
This is the view of Sinn Féin city councillor Cathal Ó Conchúir, who has condemned Minister Noonan's recent statement that, "we all know there are people who will never work, who are allergic to work…” saying such comments were "crass, and unfortunately typical of Fine Gaels laissez-faire attitude".
Cllr Ó Conchúir said the remark, which was uttered at a business lunch in Kilkenny, reveals "a total lack of understanding towards the everyday struggles people in this country are facing". He also criticised Tánaiste Joan Burton, accusing her of "weighing in behind" Minister Noonan, and for claiming Sinn Féin has a “hostility to work”.
“I would call on Joan Burton to implement the Scandinavian childcare model she promised – this would help countless mothers get back to work," he said. "Cutting lone parent benefits and making snobbish statements won’t help anyone. Fine Gael and Labour would need to take a look out of their ivory tower – a bit of empathy might help them to start making people-oriented decisions."