Labour leader Joan Burton has attacked Sinn Fein claiming they are opposed to any measures to help people get back to work.
Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland programme, the Tanaiste was reacting to Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams’ recent description of her as an “architect of austerity”.
“In my view, if people were to give control of the economy to Sinn Fein, they might as well hand the keys of the country back to the Troika,” she told host Fran McNulty.
“The thing that most disappoints me about Sinn Fein, as a party that seeks to represent working people, is that they seem relentlessly opposed to any measures to help people back to work.
“It’s almost as though they want a welfare economy rather than a working vibrant economy with small business, large business, and individuals at work and growing and getting prosperity for all of us,” she claimed.
The Minster for Social Protection also spoke about the €30 work dividend.
She claimed that the move had been discussed with Taoiseach Enda Kenny some time ago.
“I’m happy to say our partners in government are strongly supportive,” she said.
“It’s all about, I suppose, the change that I’ve pioneered in Department of Social Protection, to turn it in relation to people who are of working age from a passive provider of benefits where people call in, collect their benefits, and nobody necessarily talks to them again to a focus to working with employers, both and small and large firms to actually get people back to work.”
“I want to move to a situation where individuals and people with children move back to work, get an additional incentive to tide them over the payroll when there’s a bit of uncertainty moving from welfare to work
The measure won’t be “hugely costly” and can be implemented soon.