Stop this war among the poor

THE proposal from the Government to introduce food vouchers for asylum seekers sets a very dangerous precedent.

It is one with much wider implications for Irish society. Irish people have not forgotten the savage Poor Law system and older readers may recall that in the 1930s those in poverty were humiliated by being forced to queue for food handouts.

Resentment also exists about asylum seekers 'robbing' the Irish taxpayer by saving some of their meagre social welfare payments to send to relatives they have left behind.

How quickly Ireland forgets that most people living here now were reared and educated on the letter from America.

Removing direct financial provision for those in need - in this case asylum seekers - is the thin end of the wedge.

What is to prevent a future government introducing vouchers for others they deem to be so called scroungers - the unemployed, single parents, etc?

These groups supposedly also live the high life on sums of less than £100 per week.

With Fianna Fail TDs cynically stoking up a war of the poor against the poor, it is essential that all social groups left behind by the Celtic Tiger unite to oppose the voucher system.

JoAnne Tobin,
Anti Fascist Action,

Part of the Anti - Racism Campaigns web site