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Life on the dole

There has been a huge increase in the number of unemployed people who had their dole cut for failing to take offers of work or training.

In a recent report by the Irish independent, the latest figures to the end of March show an increase of almost 3,000 people were penalised, and that more than 12,000 unemployed people face welfare cuts in 2017.

“There seems to be an urgency to get people back into work. Where before there were CE schemes to bring people slowly back into the workforce, schemes to give them new skills or to improve on their skills,” Dublin South-Central TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh (Sinn Féin) said.

“There is a huge level of functionally illiterate people and if you just load these people into employment without additional supports, there is going to be a clash, between what people want to do and the government wanting to put people back to work,” Ó Snodaigh said.

Minister for social protection Leo Varadkar told the Independent there were already a number of safeguards. These include payments being temporarily reduced, not stopped, and payments for dependents never being touched.

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