Ireland Stands for Decent Social Welfare Rates across Europe!
As more and more people in Ireland and across Europe lose their jobs and join the dole queues, there has never been a more important time to defend the most vulnerable in Irish and European society. In 2009, 79 million people across Europe are in danger of poverty and continue to face a bleak and uncertain future.
The lack of adequate social welfare standards in Europe will push these people even closer to the brink; forcing them to choose between food and heat, or school uniforms and a visit to the doctor. Adequate minimum income (social welfare) across Europe will act as a safety net for vulnerable people who might otherwise slide into poverty, exclusion and misery.
The ability to live a dignified life, to have enough money to survive, and to be treated as an equal partner in society is not a set of privileges; it is a roll call of fundamental human rights that belong to every man, woman and child.
We the undersigned affirm that everyone is entitled to a dignified life. We believe that adequate minimum income is fundamental to a decent society and an EU based on justice and equality. We support the 2008 Commission Recommendation on Active Inclusion for people who are distant from the labour market and we call for decisive, coordinated action to implement that recommendation in every European country, allowing for ‘resources and social assistance sufficient to lead a life with human dignity’.
At a national level, we reject calls for cuts in social welfare or the partial dismantling of the welfare state. We reject as baseless, the assertion that ‘everyone shared in the wealth so everyone should share in the pain’. We stand in solidarity with people experiencing poverty, social exclusion and inequality and we affirm their right to play a full role in society, without attacks on their income levels, their access to services or their dignity. 2010 is the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.