Unemployment is no "lifestyle choice"

Study shows that 97% of unemployed would be better off working

Joan Burton TD
Minister Burton - proved wrong on "lifestyle choice" comment

The President of the Workers Party Michael Finnegan has called on Social Protection Minister, Joan Burton TD, to apologise to unemployed people after a new report by the Economic and Social Research Institute proves that unemployed people are not better off on the dole, and totally blows out of the water her derogatory "lifestyle choice" comments.

“The ESRI is hardly a friend of unemployed people.  It has consistently led calls for cuts in social wwelfare and public services. Yet this ESRI study completely undermines the claims of Joan Burton and the likes of IBEC and ISME that that people chose to be unemployed because they are better off.   That falsehood has now been exposed and it is a lie that the media and economic commentators should stop peddling”, said Mr. Finnegan.

"It is quite clear from the massive response to every job advertisement that unemployed people of all ages are desperately seeking work. It is clear from the ESRI that 97% of unemployed people would be better off in a job and indeed that 60% of the unemployed would immediately double their income by having a job. It is also clear that unemployed people greatly resent the stigmatisation to which they are subjected when they are the victims of the economic mess and not the perpetrators."

The Workers Party President said that instead of attacking the unemployed and forcing them into internships and low-paid work, the government should be creating real jobs for them.  This would stimulate real growth in the economy and help this country back on its feet.  “Unfortunately the government is completely wedded to the false economy of austerity and hand-feeding of capitalism which has not, and will not, end the current crisis”, he said.

Issued 13th October 2011

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics