Monday 23 October 2017

Backchat: A JobBridge too far

Tanaiste and Social Protection Minister Joan Burton
Tanaiste and Social Protection Minister Joan Burton
John McNulty
Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan

Liam Fay

Joan Burton will never be mistaken for a caretaker leader - and I don't mean that as a compliment. The ineptitude of the Tanaiste's half-hearted effort at coming clean about the ugly mess that is JobBridge suggests she knows precious little about effective housekeeping.

Burton has belatedly admitted that - erm, ok, there are a few teeny problems with the State's internship scheme - most notably the ease with which it has been exploited by some employers. She conceded that offering 'interns' unpaid work as cleaners or caretakers, for instance, is not the "best use" of the scheme. She also acknowledged that JobBridge may be displacing real jobs.

'A fair day's pay for a fair day's work' is a cornerstone of civilisation. The principle is even enshrined in the Catholic catechism, which warns that "defrauding labourers of their wages" is a grievous sin. Today, however, the principle is under threat as never before.

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