'I've never met someone who doesn't want to work'- Nash
Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash has distanced himself from Michael Noonan's controversial claim that some unemployed people are "allergic to work".
Mr Nash insisted that jobless people wanted to experience the "dignity" attached to employment. "It's never been my experience that people do not want to work," he said.
The Labour TD, who sits at Cabinet, is the latest Labour Party figure to criticise the finance minister's remarks, which were made at an event in Kilkenny city last week.
Labour sources feel the comments were deeply unhelpful. However, Fine Gael figures believe they will be received well among middle-class voters.
Despite the criticism from within Labour circles, Mr Noonan has repeatedly stood by the comments.
Asked whether he believed there were people who were "allergic to work", Mr Nash said this had not been his experience.
"It's never been my experience that people do not want to work. I went into public life 16 years ago, first as a county and borough councillor and then as a TD and a minister, to improve people's living standards and improve their experience of work. And to make sure that we have full employment, sustainable full employment in this country," Mr Nash said.
"It's always been my experience that people who aren't in work presently do want to work. They want to provide for their families and want that dignity that work can give them," he added.