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Students protest cuts to social welfare by eating beans on a couch at Leinster House

They also dressed as members of cabinet to highlight the differences in income between politicians and the unemployed.

A GROUP OF students, young people and the unemployed today called on senators to join them as they protest cuts to Jobseeker’s Allowance to under 26s.

Ahead of the Social Welfare Bill being debated in the Seanad a group from the Union of Students Ireland (USI), ICTU Youth and We’re Not Leaving took to the gates of Leinster House.

While the students and young people enjoyed baked beans, their counterparts dressed as members of cabinet sipped on champagne.

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USI president Joe O’Connor says that the photo is designed to ask senators “which side they are on”.

If this cut goes ahead, many highly skilled and highly qualified young people will be forced into emigration.

“The government needs to concentrate its efforts on the Youth Guarantee and creating job opportunities across various sectors, instead of choosing to punish the most vulnerable young people in our society. The senators that many young people voted to retain in the recent Seanad Referendum need to reciprocate this support.”

Ronan Burtenshaw of We’re Not Leaving added that funding to reverse the cuts could come from the Banking Levy.

The banking levy already amounts to an €850 million rebate to the banks compared with the lending guarantee it replaces.

“We propose an increase of €32 million to the levy – or 3.75% of the value of that rebate – to reverse these cuts.”

Read: Irish man considers joining British army to pull family out of poverty

Read: Switzerland is to vote on giving every citizen an unconditional income of €2,000

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