Malta letter: Those who don't take up job offers abroad 'won't lose entitlements'

The Department of Social Protection has said jobless people will be made aware of jobs abroad, but that failure to avail of them will not affect their social welfare entitlements.

The update comes after an unemployed Donegal man was sent a letter by the Department notifying him of job opportunities for bus drivers in Malta.

The Department said that any such employment opportunities brought to the attention of jobseekers through its European Employment Service initiative were completely voluntary and that people who did not avail of them would not lose their social welfare entitlements here.

The letter highlighted by Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty after it was received by one of his constituents outlines that, although the pay is only €250 per week, Malta has one of the lowest tax rates in Europe and the climate is "typically Mediterranean".

Malta letter: Those who don't take up job offers abroad 'won't lose entitlements'

Deputy Doherty called on Social Protection Minister Joan Burton to clarify whether it was the policy of her department to seek low-paid jobs abroad for unemployed Irish people.

He said he initially thought his constituent was pulling his leg when he mentioned the letter.

"We didn’t believe him…We thought it was a hoax," he said. "He explained that he went to the social welfare office and they kind of laughed as well. Then, they checked the system and found that this was an actual job opportunity, and there were 200 of them."

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