Cllr Anthony Kelly has spoken in favour of a motion calling on the Minister for Social Protection to immediately introduce a category of social welfare for self employed persons who find themselves without employment or income due to the continuing economic decline. Speaking at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Killarney last weekend, the Wexford Borough Councillor urged delegates to ratify this motion so it could become an active Sinn Féin policy.
“Since this recession began I can’t tell you the number of formally self employed people who have approached me asking why they are not entitled to the same benefits as other workers who lose their jobs,” Cllr Kelly told delegates, “How can anyone justify to a person who has paid a higher rate of tax and employed other workers for a lengthy period of time why they are not entitled to sufficient state benefits despite being left without any form of income. It is outrageous that a government which includes a so called labour party is turning a blind eye to this injustice.”
“Only recently I was approached by two separate individuals in the space of a week who were both applying for their retirement pension. Both had been self employed for many years. Both had employed other people. Both had contributed greatly to our revenue department over the years. And, despite my best efforts, both were told they were not entitled to this pension because they had paid a different stamp than PAYE workers. That is an absolute disgrace and in my opinion is a reason why many workers will never again risk setting up their own business as long as this obscene system is allowed to persist.”
“Minister Joan Burton needs to immediately introduce a category of social welfare for self employed persons who find themselves out of work and without any income. The level of payment should be based on the individual’s duration of self employment and decided on a case by case basis, but decided promptly and candidly.”