The Poor Can’t Pay Coalition has launched a hard hitting viral campaign urging people to contact their local TD’s to hammer home the widespread opposition to Budget cuts that will hit the most vulnerable. The Poor Can’t Pay campaign is a coalition of Community & Voluntary Organisations and Trades Unions who have joined forces to defend basic welfare payments, oppose any cut to the minimum wage and to ensure that the traditional Christmas Payment is continued.
The new viral campaign features some people who will be hit hardest by cuts in these areas such as a pensioner, the unemployed and others on low income. It also features staff from the member organisations of the Poor Can’t Pay.
The stark video features people holding up placards which express the real impact of cuts including the following statements:
- “The unemployed can’t pay for the jobs crisis.”
- “No to making kids pay for grown up mistakes.”
- “When you’re homeless you’ve already paid enough.”
- “Low paid workers can’t survive on less.”
- “Older people must be allowed to live in dignity.”
Speaking on behalf of The Poor Can’t Pay Brid O’Brien of the INOU said: “We are asking people to log on to link here view the short video and then phone or e-mail their local TDs, Senators and Ministers to voice their opposition to Budgets cuts that will have a devastating impact on the most vulnerable in society. This is even more vital now the Taoiseach has confirmed there will be welfare cuts in the Budget.”
She added: “We want every Government TD to explain to their constituents why they voted against reinstating the Christmas payment. Even during the darkest days of the 1980s Charlie McCreevy paid the Christmas payment. We hope people will contact all TDs to demand they do all in their power to oppose short-sighted cuts that will condemn thousands to greater hardships.”
The campaign stressed it really is the case that “the poor can’t pay” and forcing them to do will mean pensioners not being able to heat their homes, mothers not able to feed their children properly and not getting presents at Christmas.”
“It’s easy for TDs to talk in sound bites like “We must all share the burden.” Of course, everyone needs to carry a bit of the burden. But don’t you think losing your job or having a disability or having retired after 40 years of work and not being able to heat your home properly means that you are already carrying more than your fair share?’
Recent figures from the CSO show that one in five households on low incomes are already in arrears for their mortgages, rent or utility bills. This is clear evidence that the people on the lowest incomes cannot take any further cuts – it will only push them further into debt.
Members of the Poor Can’t Pay include: Age Action, Barnardos, EAPN Ireland, Focus Ireland, Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed, Mandate, the National Women’s Council of Ireland, Respond Housing Association, SIPTU, Saint Vincent de Paul and Social Justice Ireland.
More information at www.thepoorcantpay.ie
The video can be viewed by clicking here