What’s the story with these lads? Firstly, they proposed to segregate foreign students in the classroom and now they suggest paying foreign nationals to return home. Hopefully, Leo will eventually get his wish for a pure Irish race. Idiot.
Outrage as FG suggests paying foreign workers to return home
Friday September 05 2008
A Fine Gael proposal to give unemployed foreign nationals six months’ free dole in exchange for going home was yesterday strongly criticised by Fianna Fail and FAS.
A voluntary repatriation scheme for the 40,000 foreign nationals on the live register was mooted by Fine Gael enterprise spokesman Leo Varadkar, at a meeting of the Oireachtas enterprise committee with FAS, the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed and Enterprise Ireland.
His proposal centred on the idea that six months of social welfare benefits be paid to foreign national workers prepared to return to their country of origin. Such workers cost the State 400m every year in dole payments, according to Mr Varadkar. But Fianna Fail’s Thomas Byrne labelled the proposal as a “new low in Irish politics”.
Director General of FAS Rody Molloy also rejected the idea, warning that Fine Gael needed to tread very carefully when it came to ensuring that all citizens, regardless of nationality, received equal rights.
The exchange of hostile words during yesterday’s meeting followed the publication of live register figures showing 247,384 people signing on for benefits in August, an increase of 73,178 in the last 12 months.
Stressing that any repatriation scheme would be strictly voluntary, Mr Varadkar said it would merely provide unemployed foreign workers with an alternative option.
The Fine Gael frontbench spokesman said that in two years, Ireland could potentially have one of the highest unemployment rates in the EU. While some European countries were reducing their unemployment levels and pulling down the average rate to 6.8pc, Ireland’s rate had increased to 6.1pc and was bucking the trend, he argued.
However, FAS shot down the suggestion and argued that all nationalities should have the same rights as Irish citizens.
“That’s the beginning and end for me in the sense of rights,” Mr Molloy said.
He also argued that it was in Ireland’s interests to operate a social welfare system which treated everyone equally so that Irish people abroad who were unemployed could expect to be treated fairly.
The FAS chief added that he would be “very nervous” about anything which would take away from a citizen’s rights, and queried just how voluntary such a repatriation scheme could be.
Questions were also raised about what would happen in the event of a worker returning home only to come back three weeks later. “You have to tread very carefully not to tread on people’s rights,” Mr Molloy said.
Fianna Fail backbencher Thomas Byrne accused Mr Varadkar of setting a “new low” in Irish politics with such a proposal and asked him to withdraw his remarks. “It’s a very dangerous proposal and sets a new low in Irish politics. It’s a repetition of what Fine Gael are at in recent weeks. It’s very dangerous,” he said, referring to recent comments by the party’s education spokesman on “segregating” children to learn English.
Mr Varadkar’s proposal follows the introduction of a scheme in Spain where unemployed foreign workers can volunteer to return to their home countries.