Making Sure that Work Pays in Ireland

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Shops and businesses around Dublin have recently found themselves the focus of vocal anti-austerity pickets by a group of young activists collaborating under the name Work Must Pay. Since the economic collapse of 2007 young people in Ireland have been at the receiving end of a brutal régime of pay and benefits cuts, tax hikes, and an entire package of government austerity measures aimed at reducing Ireland’s national debt and paying off a crippling EU/IMF bailout, and have had to face rising levels of unemployment and a sharp increase in the cost of living.

Following the rationale of the too big to fail bailout agenda, the Fine Gael/Labour coalition have introduced the JobBridge initiative; an internship and apprenticeship programme which offers the unemployed a marginal increase in their social welfare payments in exchange for their labour. What this in effect amounts to is a corvée labour programme…

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