Recent comments by Finance Minister Michael Noonan about unemployed people have drawn sharp criticism from the Opposition.
Minister Noonan was speaking at a Kilkenny Chamber lunch about the Government's plans to create jobs.
"Before very long, everybody in this country who wants to work, or the kids who are emigrating now, if they want to stay at home, we want there to be a job for them,” he said.
"Now we all know there are people who will never work, who are allergic to work, so we’re not including those in the statistics, but everybody who wants a job will have a job in the next couple of years."
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Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly criticised Minster Noonan's comments, calling them "completely derogatory".
"It is absolutely outrageous that Michael Noonan holds the belief that there are currently people in Ireland who don’t want to work, or as he puts it, who are ‘allergic to work’," she said.
“However, this belief is typical of this government’s attitude to the Irish people. Fine Gael and Labour have shown time and time again utter contempt for those on low incomes, those people who have been hit hardest by the recession and those from marginalised backgrounds.
“Mr. Noonan’s comments once more reflect the disdain this Government have towards the less well-off and their ill-disguised desire to ensure these people are not assisted into the labour market.”
She added: “The leader of his party tried to go one better, Enda Kenny gave anecdotal evidence of a man in Mayo who could afford two pints but not to pay for water charges. And yet again we have Michael Noonan taking aim at the most vulnerable in society saying that they are allergic to work.”
“The mask has well and truly slipped off Mr Noonan. Perhaps it is you who should get off the stage.”