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Labour Pains

Most people think Labour HASN'T protected the least well-off

A new poll shows 65% of people think the party has failed to protect the poorest in Ireland.

ALMOST TWO IN three people believe Labour has not defended the interests of the poorest in Ireland.

The Claire Byrne Live/Amárach Research found that 65% of people think the party has failed to protect the least well-off during its time in government.

Some 14% of respondents think they have, while 21% say they don’t know.

Just 11% of women feel the party has protected the poorest in society, compared to 18% of men.

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The poll shows continued disaffection with Labour’s record in government, which critics say has failed to prevent the worst excesses of austerity.

The party has borne the brunt of public anger over coalition spending cuts, though its support rose slightly to 10% in the last opinion poll.

‘Threshold of decency’

Speaking to Claire Byrne last night, Minister of State for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin defended his party’s performance, saying it had “managed to maintain a threshold of decency” by protecting core social welfare rates and restoring the Christmas bonus.

The Labour TD added that he was not taken aback by the survey results.

“I’m not surprised, because the vast majority of measures we introduce in government don’t get airtime,” he said.

The poll was conducted yesterday by Amárach Research. The survey panel comprises more than 1,000 adults who all own a smartphone. More details here.

First published 21 September, 11pm

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