Dole only for those actively seeking work or re-skilling.
At the release of the Live Register figures today (5th June), ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, called on Government to prioritise tackling the high number of long term unemployed. The Association urged Government to focus specifically on effective policing of activation measures and demanded that harsher penalties be introduced for those who refuse jobs and offers of training or education.
The latest seasonally adjusted Live Register figures confirm that while employment is rising, 347,100 people are still signing on the dole. Long-term claimants account for increased 46.8% of the total.
ISME CEO, Mark Fielding, commented on the situation, "There are currently 161,884 long-term unemployed persons in the country an increase of 3396 on April. Most of these are struggling to find employment and need help to upskill themselves for today's labour market. Meanwhile, there are those who are simply unwilling to work or to participate in the workforce activation schemes and harsh measures must be strictly enforced for those who refuse to participate".
"The inept enforcement and over-generous nature of the welfare system is aiding the malingerer. Eliminating the number of long-term unemployed must become a policy priority for Government and the current range of activation measures must be continuously reviewed and rigorously implemented."
The Association called on the Government to:
Reform the social welfare system to make it more profitable to work.
Assign a welfare officer to every person who is unemployed long-term and ensure that they are offered a place on an activation scheme which they may not refuse.