Some Losses, Some Gains

7 Apr 2009

Though the INOU welcomes the Government retaining the basic adult social welfare rate intact, the abolition of the Christmas Bonus is a bitter pill to swallow at a very expensive time of year. The proposed reduction of Rent Supplement levels is particularly worrying as most people in receipt of this payment feel they are not in a position to negotiate a reduction in their rent. "The INOU believes that this change should not be introduced unless assistance is also offered to tenants to secure such a reduction", said Bríd O'Brien, Head of Policy and Media with the INOU.

Another worrying development is the proposed change to Jobs Seekers Allowances for young people under 20. In our pre-budget submission the INOU had called for a guaranteed employment related training / education place for every young person 21 years of age and under. "It is critical that the incentivised training and education allowances will produce actual employment options for young people and prevent a new generation becoming long term unemployed", said Bríd O'Brien. "The INOU believes that a more productive development would have been to introduce an integrated education, training and employment initiative supported by all required players including employers," she continued.

The INOU also welcomes the increase of places on Community Employment and other announced training initiatives. In our pre-budget submission the INOU outlined the need for the development of an "earn and learn" scheme and the announcement today of the 'Pilot Training Scheme for Workers on Short Time' is welcome.

"However, the organisation is concerned that changes to the eligibility criteria for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance are being funded by the abolition of the Back to Work Allowance and a reduction in the duration of the BTWEA from four years to two", said John Stewart, Coordinator with the INOU.

For further information contact:

Bríd O'Brien, INOU Head of Policy and Media: (01) 856 0088 or 086 608 9641