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DAY 26, BUS 2: Longford

20 May 2018

The access for adequate income for women was highlighted in Longford today. Expert by experience, Samantha, highlighted the particular experience of a lone parent on social assistance. While recognising how it helped her survive, she pointed out the shortcomings that make it hard to thrive. She highlighted the need for social assistance to work in tandem with affordable child care and accessable educational opportunities, for women to be able to use the supports as a spring board to a better life.

It was acknowledge that local voluntary and community organisations play an essential role to find local solutions that responds to local realities. There was also a call for national policy approaches to recognise and respond to different local realities. While national unemployment figures have fallen, the reality in Longford is still a 15% unemployment rate, so a policy designed for national levels, will not work in Longford unless adjusted. The problems with the ‘job path’ scheme was also highlighted.

The need for a positive narrative about welfare was highlighted by the political representative present. He highlighted the importance of a rights based approach to the design of effective welfare systems. He congratulated all involved in the #eminbus tour and encouraged us to remain determined and confident in the work we do.