Pillar of Social Rights must be backed by Government Action

Issued 17 November 2017

With the proclamation today in Gothenburg of the European Pillar of Social Rights, Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin has said that it must now be backed up by Government action.

Deputy Howlin said:

“Today European leaders proclaim in Gothenburg a European Pillar of Social Rights. This is an important development for the European Union. In the run up to the agreement, I was concerned at reports that Ireland was seeking to obstruct and water down any obligations in the preamble to give meaning to the Social Pillar.

“Ireland must now back up its commitment to social rights with Government action.

“The three key chapters of the Pillar are equal opportunities and access to the labour market, fair working conditions, and social protection and inclusion.

“In the last two years the Labour Party has advanced a number of policy proposals and legislative actions that would make the Pillar a reality.

“With a changing world of work, it is essential that people can rely on actionable rights on the type of contracts they have, on if and when hours, on bogus self-employment and tackling the gender pay gap.

“Key issues that require action include access to healthcare, housing and childcare; inclusion of people with disabilities; and the right to lifelong learning. Unfortunately the most recent Budget did little to achieve this, and the Fine Gael government has failed to outline such a vision for Irish society.”