Joan Burton is Ireland's Baron Tebbitt, Higgins claims

The Social Protection Minister's been compared to a former Tory Minister in the 1980s who effectively told people to get on their bike and look for work.

Joan Burton is Ireland's Baron Tebbitt, Higgins claims

The Social Protection Minister's been compared to a former Tory Minister in the 1980s who effectively told people to get on their bike and look for work.

The charge against Joan Burton came in the Dáil from Socialist party TD Joe Higgins.

The Dáil is rushing through the Social Welfare bill today and tomorrow, which will give effect to budget cuts such as the dole for under 26's and the abolition of the bereavement grant.

Joe Higgins said Minister Joan Burton is comparable to Lord Tebbitt in Britain, who famously spoke of unemployment in terms of his own father in the 1930s, saying "he got on his bike and looked for work, and he kept looking till he found it."

"The Minister for Social Protection is rapidly emerging as the Baroness Tebbitt of the Fine-Gael Labour Government," he said.

Continuing through attempted interruptions from the Minister, he said: "Baroness Minister Burton's prescription for the young unemployed in Ireland is to work for €50 a week for employers who are looking fro free labour at taxpayer's expense."

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