Social Welfare - don't lose it's meaning

"The best way to save on social welfare is to create jobs for people" - Finnegan

Michael Finnegan
WP President Michael Finnegan

The President of the Workers’ Party, Michael Finnegan, has said that the government should not forget the meaning of the term “social welfare” in its quest to find money to fund the banking bailout.


Mr. Finnegan said that social welfare existed as a safety net to protect people from severe poverty and to safeguard the social fabric of the nation as a whole.  He warned the government against seeing social welfare recipients as a soft touch while those with massive wealth were left off scot-free because they are powerful and capable of defending themselves.


The Workers’ Party President said that the reason the social welfare bill is so high is because of the huge number of people who have lost their jobs and having already suffered a huge drop in income, they should not be targeted a second time because of their vulnerability.


“The best way to make savings on social welfare”, said Mr. Finnegan, “is to get people back to work and the best way to get them back to work quickly is for the state to engage directly in job creation because it does not have the luxury of being able to wait on business to feel the economy is strong enough for them to create jobs”.


“There are plenty of things that need to be done in this country.  There are 100,000 families who need to housed, there are schools which need to be repaired or upgraded. In the past in times of high unemployment public works were always a means of giving people employment, there is no reason why this couldn’t be done again.  A state construction company should be established or else local authorities funded to build houses directly. Any cost involved in doing this will be recouped very quickly because these workers will be paying tax and those housed will be paying rent.  In addition any major project of this type would be an investment in the future of our country in itself”.


“No doubt the government and business will dismiss this as socialist dogma, but it is in fact commonsense” said Mr. Finnegan.


Issued 5th November 2009

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics