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Fine Gael base instincts on show in going after very sick workers in order to “help” businesses

08 April 2024

  • Crass attempt by Fine Gael to address real business concerns doesn’t even mention the very serious issues of overdue warehoused tax debts
  • Targeting the pay of low and middle income workers

Responding to Taoiseach in waiting Simon Harris and his “rescue package” for business, Labour Worker’s Rights spokesperson Marie Sherlock said that Fine Gael base instincts are now on show in the crass attempt to make workers’ pay to “help” small business.

Senator Sherlock said

“They are reneging on their commitment to extending paid sick leave days and to look after lower paid workers when they need help most- when they are sick and need an income to pay the bills. The only people who ever need seven or more certified sick days are those who are very sick  but that reality is lost in an heartless capitulation to employer lobby groups who have moaned for many months now about how in having to pay for their workers when they are out sick is an intolerable “cost burden”.

“Furthermore the plans to now raid the in-surplus National Training Fund to help employers, is a reflection of the abject failure of both Minister Harris’s own department and Minister Coveney’s department to use that fund to support apprenticeship and lifelong learning among workers. 

“Time and again, when we talk to owners of small cafes, restaurants and retail in our communities, the overdue warehoused tax debt is the single biggest issue for employers and I would question whether many of these businesses are capable of trading through these debts. Government would be better served getting a handle on the impact of these debts and reason behind the thousands of insolvencies coming down the tracks rather than playing to the gallery and the base instincts of Fine Gael.

“We know that Corporate insolvencies rose 41 per cent in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, Government must support struggling business and save jobs.

“Government would be better minded to put in place a plan for the almost 56,700 companies with tax debt warehoused. With the May 1st deadline looming Government should be focusing on supporting these businesses and saving jobs, rather than lowering standards for workers.”