Spending not the key to job creation
The call for changes to the payment of unemployment benefit from the OECD was more than just a demand for reduced social welfare, and should not be regarded as such. It was a claim that the structure of both welfare and training systems militate against jobs, and therefore run contrary to the Government's stated objectives.
Hours after Public Reform Minister Brendan Howlin told a conference that employment was the Government's top priority, OECD official Patrick Lenain told the same meeting that the policies in place were more likely to damage employment prospects than assist them.
Whatever about the OECD's precise suggestions, the evidence suggests that the new Government is already in a mess on this most critical of issues. Its line in opposition was based on the widely discredited idea that spending government money, even borrowed money, was the key to job creation.